Monday, January 23, 2012
Future Crime: Review
Future Crime: An Anthology of the Shape of Crime to Come (Cynthia Manson & Charles Ardai, eds) is a collection of 15 short stories by Isaac Asimov, Robert Bloch, Harry Harrison, Larry Niven, C. J. Cherryh, Orson Scott Card and others. We have visions of DNA detectives who, once they have a sample from the culprit, can target the villain with a DNA-specific virus that will turn him green or make her smell so bad that even the most inept officer couldn't miss tracking them down. We have murder in a supposedly utopian society where everyone should be treated exactly the same because...well...because everybody looks exactly the same. And if nobody's different, then everyone should be equal, right? It does make it a little hard to track down the killer when everyone saw "her" but "she" looks exactly like all the others. And then there's the child raised to be a killer through the training he received from his teddy bear...because "I Always Do What Teddy Says." And what about a world where alibis are meaningless because everyone has teleportation and could be anywhere and back within the blink of an eye? Or..is it really murder if the act was committed by a servo-robot--or just an unfortunate accident?
There are some interesting ideas in these pages. Unfortunately, some of them are better executed (no pun intended) than others...making for an adequate, but not brilliant collection of stories. Enjoyable, but not unputdownable. Somewhat thought-provoking without making you think too much. It is fun to see what sort of "future" crime some of the science fiction greats came up with from 1975-91. Some of those ideas don't seem quite so futuristic anymore.... Three stars for a decent outing.