"Those familiar with Kelly's work will appreciate having his finest stories gathered together in one place, while new readers will be pleased to discover a writer of uncommon subtlety and imagination."
— Publishers Weekly, July 14, 1997
"James Patrick Kelly has been a well-kept secret in the SF field for too long," wrote a book critic recently, but with the publication of Think Like a Dinosaur and Other Stories, the secret is out. This first major retrospective collects Kelly's finest short fiction from a twenty-year career and includes a dazzling array of work from hard science fiction to Twilight Zone-ish fantasies to stark futuristic horror.
Thus the grim fable "Pogrom" presents a near-futuristic scenario in which internecine warfare has broken out between the aging boomer generation and a youthful dispossessed proletariat who must support them. The landmark novella "Mr. Boy" — already considered a contemporary classic in the genre — is the wildly inventive tale of a genetically stunted twelve-year-old who literally lives inside his mother, who has turned herself into a three-quarter-scale model of the Statue of Liberty. "The First Law of Thermodynamics" is a remarkable evocation of the psychedelic sixties — the time of Vietnam, Kent State, and acid rock — in which, like that era itself, nothing is what it appears to be. And "Breakaway, Backdown" portrays the shocking price one must pay for those mustering the "right stuff" to venture into outer space.
The now-famous title story, "Think Like a Dinosaur" — winner of science fiction's highest honor, the Hugo Award, and nominated for the Nebula Award — encapsulates the entire book. This tale of a transporter beam, maintained by aliens and through which humanity can visit the stars, combines high-tech extravaganza with the author's ever-present humanistic concerns. Throughout these stories, in one form or another, James Patrick Kelly shows us the frightening power of science to transform our lives while asking deep and searching questions about the future of humanity.
Foreword by John Kessel. Cover art by Bob Eggleton.
"Kelly's mainstream strengths are such, in fact, that he is among the most prominent of those authors who manage to place stories in SF magazines with minimal or debatable SF content. . . . the fact that Kelly can move so easily across the short story landscape is both a tribute to his talent and a reassurance that the modern SF short story may not be so far removed from the art story as we had once been led to believe."
— Locus, August 1997
Trade Paperback Reprint, ISBN: 1-930846-20-7
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Note — All reviews refer to the original hardcover edition:
Read the reviews from Booklist and Kirkus Reviews
Read the Locus Magazine review
Read the SciFi Weekly review
Read the infinity plus review
Read the NESFA.org review by Evelyn C. Leeper