The Shipshape Miracle and Other Stories
As with each volume so far, there's a western included here. I once enjoyed westerns, but I'm sorry to say Simak's don't stand out in any way. They have his usual pleasant characters, but they're too formulaic to be very interesting. That said, the SFF stories in each collection make up for it. They're written with a traditional Simak style that somehow avoids formula and manifests as style.
The collection here is an odd mix - some lighthearted stories, some more philosophical. Several have fascinating premises that aren't quite seen through to the end, while others go beyond the intuitive stopping point to consider ethics and implications. Two of the stories are among Simak's best.
- The Money Tree - a fun story about just what it says; a not-very-scrupulous man happens across a money tree. Not all his choices are wise.
- Paradise - a top-notch story about perceptions and fears, though the ending doesn't quite live up to the rest.
- Eternity Lost - immortality is available, but rationed, and corruption, naturally sets in. The most fully realized of the stories in this set.
- Immigrant - when a superior culture gives some humans a chance at paradise, what do they do with it. A story that doesn't stop when it hits a resonant point, but goes on to think through the philosophy of the situation.
I received a free copy of this
book in exchange for an honest review.