Cuckoo's Boys

Overview

A decade's worth of prolific short stories are showcased in this compilation of Robert Reed's best work. Among the dozen thought-provoking tales is the never-before-published "Abducted Souls," about a college student who becomes increasingly unsure of himself and his self-worth when the alien abduction he experienced as a child is questioned. Also included is the Asimov's Science Fiction Reader's Choice Award–winning "Savior," about a military commander who is held accountable for tortuous acts that may have ...

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Overview

A decade's worth of prolific short stories are showcased in this compilation of Robert Reed's best work. Among the dozen thought-provoking tales is the never-before-published "Abducted Souls," about a college student who becomes increasingly unsure of himself and his self-worth when the alien abduction he experienced as a child is questioned. Also included is the Asimov's Science Fiction Reader's Choice Award–winning "Savior," about a military commander who is held accountable for tortuous acts that may have saved the human race. The hot topic of cloning is discussed in futuristic terms in the title tale, "The Cuckoo's Boys," which tells of a lonely genius who clones himself, not once, but millions of times, and of a teacher who tests and challenges three of these clones. Two ageless aliens become friends with Ash, an immortal human, as he strives to help them recover lost memories in "Night of Time," a selection taken from the popular Marrow book. The collection closes with an afterword by the author, in which he details the genesis of each story.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With his command of prose, characterization, and ideas, Robert Reed is the new century’s most compelling SF voice."  —Stephen Baxter, Hugo Award–nominated author, The Time Ships

"Scientific speculations are balanced by an underlying quiet sanity about how to depict and to illumine human beings." —John Clute and Peter Nichols, editors, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

"Reed....manages to keep up a very high standard of quality while being prolific."   —Gardner Dozois, editor, The Year’s Best Science Fiction anthology series

"Reaffirms SF's function as a thoughtful and paradigm-subverting literary form... one of the strongest genre collections of the year."  —Locus 

"Showcase[s] this prolific author's ability to put a fresh spin on traditional SF themes."  —Publishers Weekly

"Mysterious and occasionally creepy glimpses of futures that are sometimes strange, sometimes totally familiar."  —Booklist

Publishers Weekly
The dozen stories in Reed's second Golden Gryphon collection (after 1999's The Dragons of Springplace) showcase this prolific author's ability to put a fresh spin on traditional SF themes. A dazzling variant on Harry Bates's classic Farewell to the Master is the spell-binding "Night of Time," in which the apparent servant is actually the master. Whereas the discovery of a message from an alien world would once have been story enough, in the ironically titled "On the Brink of That Bright New World" that revelation allows a man to get away with murdering his unfaithful wife and her lover. Sometimes, though, Reed's soaring imagination drops too easily into cloying preciosity and self-conscious wordplay, as in "River of the Queen" (a sequel of sorts to "Night of Time") or into didacticism, as in "Coelacanths." Still, Reed at his best ranks high in the SF firmament. Agent, Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In the title story, a brilliant man clones himself, using a reproductive virus that produces millions of copies of himself--but are they really the same? In "The Children's Crusade," a father watches his daughter grow up only to leave him for a greater, though perhaps futile, dream. This collection of 12 stories, several published only in magazines, represents the second compilation of Reed's work and features visions of the future that, while not always optimistic, never fail to probe the limits of human nature. For most short story or sf collections. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781930846371
  • Publisher: Golden Gryphon Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Reed is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Marrow and The Well of Stars, and a number of stories that have appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Age. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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Table of Contents

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