Top critical review
NOT the best of the best; comes across as a sales pitch.
Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2018
I approach short stories with a bit of trepidation. Sometimes they are in fact short stories, where there is a beginning, an end, and a suitable amount of development in the middle. Other times a 'short story' is more like a section of a larger book cut out with a razor, without regard for where the excision was performed. In fact, the more obnoxious writers delight in this second type, often creating a story with completely obscure vernacular, no discernible development, and no clear beginning or end. This second type results only in consternation for the reader, not enjoyment.
This book has both kinds of short stories. A few are truly quite enjoyable to read and are pleasantly thought provoking. "The Invariable Man" and "PePr, Inc." were good stories that were quite intriguing and made me think "hmmmm, that was cool" when they were over. A few others are middle-of-the-road and hard to remember; a few missed the mark entirely, and one (the one involving the snow storm) was simply a ridiculous waste of time.
"The Robot Chronicles" is not representative of the best of the breed, but it does contain works by two or three who bear watching.
Two issues further rain on this book's parade. First, the fabulously pompous introduction by the editor almost made me delete the book before reading it. Trust me, there is more to life than writing science fiction. Second, each story includes an afterword from it's respective author. Sadly, all but one or two come across as an appeal to buy more books, making this whole project seem like an advertisement (that I paid for) for mostly second rate authors.
I gave the book three stars out of respect for the two or three authors who contributed decent material; one or two stars apply to the remainder. I haven't read anything else from "The Future Chronicles" - I hope they are better than this thing.