Generous Review

by wjw on March 3, 2021

Paul Di Filippo reviews The Best of Walter Jon Williams.  Your takeaway:

Emerging from a deep dive into this truly entertaining treasure chest of riches, the reader immediately has several reactions. First, although Williams’s range of topics is immense, every story emerges from that core template of speculative fiction: assume a novum, extrapolate logically. There are no gauzy impressionistic tales here, and even a recent fantasy from him, Quillifer, exemplifies this hard-nosed approach. Second, in true cyberpunk fashion, Williams favors outsiders and outlaws as his protagonists. Even Mary Shelley qualifies. Third, he remains dedicated to surfing current events for source material, as “The Green Leopard Plague” and “Diamonds from Tequila” demonstrate.

Still working today wholeheartedly at the apex of his abilities, Williams has persevered through the ups and downs typical of most writers (revealed in his generous Story Notes) to accumulate a corpus of work that stands on the same victor’s platform as many of his illustrious predecessors and also with the best of his peers. He’s done his—our—generation proud.


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