Booklist and Kirkus Reviews

Kelly, whose last novel was Wildlife (1994), is actually better known for his short stories, which blend literary sensibilities and compassion with innovative themes. "Think Like a Dinosaur," a Hugo winner last year and probably the best story here, involves space travel of a sort: you travel to another planet using a method rather like being faxed, leaving your old, living self behind to be disposed of by the sad technician in charge. Wonderful, but all these stories are. "The First Law of Thermodynamics" evokes the 1960s and then transforms an ignorant, would-be radical into the woebegone academic he was always destined to be. "Pogrom" chillingly sets the boomer generation against their progeny, who must support them in their old age. "Heroics," hardly science fiction at all, details a dream that comes true, of a man saving the passengers on a burning boat. Thoughtful, beautifully written stories, just a few degrees north of realism.

—John Mort, Booklist

From the author of Look into the Sun (1989), etc., a first story collection of 14 tales, including the Hugo Award winning title piece about the moral and ethical complications that ensue when intelligent space-traveling dinosaurs introduce a teleportation device to Earth. Also noteworthy: "Faith," a love story involving a man who talks to plants; "Breakaway, Breakdown," a witty, discerning piece consisting of responses given by a spacewoman—readers have to supply the questions for themselves; "Crow," an effective post-nuclear chiller; "Monsters," wherein a grotesque hunchback who turns out to be an angel drives a potential psycho-killer back to sanity; and the famous "Mr. Boy," a sort of techno version of Philip Jose Farmer's return-to-the-womb classic, "Mother." The remainder feature variations on: life on the future dole; fathers and daughters; dreams, impotence, and salvation; cybersex; adulterous guys becoming unpersons; the '60s generation; and a rodent drug courier. An admirably diverse set of themes: readers attuned to Kelly's singular attitude and approach should find much to appreciate.

—Kirkus Associates, July 1, 1997


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