Moving forth in my quest to read vintage science-fiction short stories, I completed this book last night. Bester’s stories are always far more unique than other authors. When you read a story written by Bester, you can just tell its written by him. His writing is not going to be loved by everyone, but everyone should be relatively familiar with him. This collection includes the short stories:
- Time is the Traitor
- The Men Who Murdered Mohammed
- Out of this World
- The Pi Man
- The Flowered Thundermug
- Will You Wait?
- They Don’t Make Life Like They Used To
The first story in the collection is rather disturbing. It doesn’t seem so, but when I got to the end of the story I found it mildly “upsetting” (relative to a short story’s ability to disturb). Its a pretty good story, which begins in media res. This story was well worth reading, but not the best in this book.
The next story “The Men Who Murdered Mohammed” is definitely the best in the collection. The story isn’t anything high-class and to be considered literature, but philosophers and psychologists should be interested in the overall concept of the story. And it presents a very interesting theory on time travel. This was well worth reading. It may be the best in the book. This story was nominated for a Hugo Short Story in 1959.
“Out of This World” is trippy. Like most of Bester’s writing, its unique. It may be the one story in which I was most able to “connect” with the characters. Most of the characters in these stories aren’t developed and we meet them in media res. But this story allows the reader the most interaction with the characters, I think.
“The Pi Man” was interesting – although it felt a bit incomplete. Nevertheless, its unique. I liked it quite a bit. If I wrote fan fiction, this is the one that I would like to expand. I disliked “The Flowered Thundermug” the most. Its skipable, to be honest. Too confusing and I just did not like it at all.
The collection was published in 1964.