I just discovered this “PM Outspoken Authors” series of books (by PM Press) and as I am a tremendous fan of Kim Stanley Robinson’s work, his was the first volume I chose to read.
This book, almost a chapbook really, contains Robinson’s short story/novelette “The Lucky Strike” and his short story/essay “A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions” and an interview with Robinson, conducted by Terry Bisson. Both stories center around an alternate history idea of the dropping of the atomic bombs over Japan.
“The Lucky Strike” focuses on Captain Frank January, the bombardier on The Lucky Strike, which is scheduled to make the atomic bomb drop after there are problems with Enola Gay. But January learns of the destructive power of the bomb and has second thoughts about making the drop. One man’s decision has massive, world-wide effects.
“A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions” is a look at ‘the butterfly effect’ and its use in alternate history stories.
I enjoy listening to Robinson talk (I have heard him a couple of times, in person) and I really liked his reflection and comments in the interview with Bisson.
I don’t know that this is a great reflection of Robinson’s writing – I’d recommend either his Mars series or his West Coast series before I’d recommend this to anyone who isn’t familiar with Robinson’s work. But for anyone who enjoys a good, solid science fiction story, as well as a conversation with an intelligent, out-spoken science fiction author, then this is a small volume that is worth reading.
Looking for a good book? Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Lucky Strike, a part of the PM Outspoken Author’s book series, could be a quick read, but the power in the short works leaves the reader with a great deal to think about.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Lucky Strike
author: Kim Stanley Robinson
series: PM Outspoken Authors
publisher: PM Press
paperback, 128 pages