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Posted September 21, 2010
Baen continues paying homage to the late great Christopher Anvil, known for his witty jocular science fiction tales. The eighth and apparently last Anvil book is divided into three sections. Part I Research East includes three James Cardan tales; two shorts and one novella, The Day the Machines Stopped. Part II Solver of Problems stars Richard Verner in all seven of his short stories. Finally Part III Problems, Snafus and Fubars includes eleven miscellaneous tales with the author's last work The Anomaly first published in this collection.
The Cardan and Verner entries are worth the price of admission as these are two delightful protagonists. Readers will especially enjoy Verner the problem solver. The third section includes well written contributions, but lacks the focus of the other two parts; making this section feeling like a bonus. One common theme that makes this twenty-one story anthology worth reading is the humor even when humanity is on the brink of extinction as Mr. Anvil made the case that The Power of Illusion is keep the reader smiling with sardonic science fiction.