THRESHOLD SHIFT by Eric Brown, intro by Stephen Baxter, cover art by Bob Eggleton. Urbana, Il; Golden Gryphon Press; 2006. 1st edition hardcover.
Threshold Shift is a collection of science fiction stories about people in fantastic situations, focusing on the effect of science, technology, and change on the lives of ordinary individuals.
The collection features two stories which won the British Science Fiction Award: "The Children of Winter" and "Hunting the Slarque." The first is a moving tale of a hopeless love affair between alien kinds on a remote ice-bound world in the far future. In the second, Hunter is resurrected from death by the owner of an extraterrestrial zoo and sent off to the dying world of Tartarus in search of the vicious beast that killed him, the Slarque.
Three stories are set in Brown 's Kéthani universe. The Kéthani are aliens who arrive on present-day Earth and offer immortality, creating moral and ethical dilemmas for the humans who chose to accept — or reject — the alien gift. Particularly touching is "Thursday 's Child," the story of parents whose daughter is dying; one wants the Kéthani to "save" their daughter, while the other is convinced that such restoration is wrong.
These stories confirm Brown 's reputation as a writer of quiet, thoughtful stories which, in the words of Bob Shaw: ". . . are the essence of modern science fiction and yet show a passionate concern for the human predicament and human values."
Table of Contents:
Foreword byStephen Baxter;
The Children of Winter,
Ascent of Man,
The Kéthani Inheritance,
Instructions for Surviving the Destruction of Star-Probe X-11-57,
Eye of the Beholder,
The Touch of Angels,
The Spacetime Pit (with Stephen Baxter),
Hunting the Slarque.
"If you have read Eric Brown before you will know the pleasures that await you. But if this is your first introduction to Eric's work, I envy you; you have a memorable journey ahead."
— Stephen Baxter, author of the Xeelee Sequence and Destiny's Children series.
More praise for Eric Brown:
"SF infused with a cosmopolitan and literary sensibility . . . accomplished and affecting . . ."
— Paul McAuley, author of Whole Wide World.
"British writing with a deft, understated touch: wonderful . . ."
— New Scientist.
"One of the very best of the new generation of British SF writers . . ."
Fine in fine dj.