Branko Jass Jass من عند 10070 Breno TO, إيطاليا
The stories in this collection were mostly written in the 1970s and 80s, but they have held up well in most ways. You may have to ignore it when the story mentions current times and puts technology there that didn’t happen, but just think of it as taking place in an alternate universe. It’s the story that matters, not the dates. His style reminds me at times of Robert Heinlein, which is appropriate, given that Heinlein was the first author Robinson read as a child – and that he was chosen to finish a story outline that Heinlein left when he died. Many of the stories deal with humanity- not just humanity as people, but the human soul and heart. Whether it’s artists fighting to be allowed to keep creating, or a dancer fighting against both stereotypes and gravity, the problems to be solved aren’t bug eyed aliens despite Robinson’s grounding in the hard SF of the 60s. Add some humor and a lot of twists, stir and enjoy.
Short, sharp, biting, strong characterisation, astute political observation, telling details. As in all good satire, everyone gets it in the neck, not just the obvious "bad guy". Which makes it all the more puzzling that another reviewer disliked the "moral ambiguity" - surely that's the whole point of a book like this?
His f***ed-up childhood reminded me powerfully of my own. The book is simultaneously heartbreaking and funny - just like I like 'em.