As I mentioned here and here, I keep a folder in my email inbox for any book-reviews we hear about in the course of our work; it's from here that I populate the links in my incredibly popular "Reviewspam" feature. And with the very busy spell that I've already mentioned, this folder has ended up very crowded.
This is the third review backlog for today - and most likely the last, for the time being - and is for Jonathan Strahan's excellent hard-SF anthology Engineering Infinity.
Quite apart from the positively glowing review in the San Francisco book review, which Jenni has already posted, this has been getting some pretty exceptional love, which is always nice to see...
Guy Haley over at SFX gave it a pretty rare five stars:
"If you’re au fait with the periodic table, the murkier parts of quantum physics and biochemistry you’ll lap it all up. We lesser mortals can still enjoy the skill on display, and revel in those stories that speak to both head and heart."
Total Sci-Fi Online's Paul Simpson, meanwhile, gave it eight out of ten, writing:
"A new collection of 'hard SF' is far more wide-ranging than might first appear."
Gareth at Falcata Times was also clearly impressed by the collection:
"Each individual tale brings a whole host of talent to the fore as well as bringing some great storytelling alongside great prose. It’s a serious piece of fiction and one that deserves a lot of readers attention whilst allowing readers to try people new as well as a chance to get involved in the harder edge of the genre."
The Hi-Ex! Blog's reviewer actually found his assumptions about his reading tastes shaken:
"Reading this collect has got me re-evaluating what I think of as Hard Sci-fi. There are tales in here that I wouldn’t have classed as such - but on reflection, of course they are... I can honestly say that almost every tale hit the mark for me."
A similar admiration for Strahan's range is found in The Guardian:
"What's refreshing about this volume is the editor's broad take on what constitutes Hard SF, from stories so hard as to be impenetrable to the more humanistic."
We're going to choose to read "so hard as to be impenetrable" as a meaning "in a good way," in this context, since he seems to be pleased with the result.