June 17, 2005
Evil Water and other stories by Ian Watson
This collection of short stories starts off with an exploration of superstition and rational thought in `Cold Light'. At a time when faith seems to have deserted the Church of England, John Ingolby, the Bishop of Porchester, has published his life's work: Religion and the History of Lighting in which he compares the changes in theological thinking over the ages with the improvements in lighting technology. An excellent premise with a somewhat unsatisfying conclusion.
`When the Timegate Failed' is an interesting time-travel story with deviant alien sex as an added bonus. In `The Great Atlantic Swimming Race' Ian Watson tries his hand at satire but fails, in my opinion.
`The Wire Around the War' and `When Idaho Dived' are examples of manically bad writing inspired by the general malaise of the Cold War. `On the Dream Channel Panel' is an engaging tale of time-travel which begins with advertisements for products from the far future being beamed into the dreams of a few people. `The People on the Precipice' is a strange spoof (or is it satire) of the novel "Flatland" by Edwin A. Abbot. `Skin Day, and After' presents a weird and unlikely future; characters wear leopard-skin pillbox hats in this one (too much Dylan on the old hi-fi?).
`Windows' is a real gem; an interesting take on the mysterious alien artifact story. The last story `Evil Water' is a weak horror/fantasy story which is surprisingly used as the title of the book when there are stronger stories that exist in this collection.
Except for `Cold Light', `When the Timegate Failed', `On the Dream Channel Panel', `Windows' and `Evil Water' the stories have dated considerably since their original publication.
%T Evil Water %T :and other stories %A Ian Watson %I Grafton Books %D 1987 %G ISBN: 05860201939 (pb) %P 222 %K science-fiction
Review written: 2000/11/02Posted by anoop at June 17, 2005 01:41 AM