23 December 2007

Recent reading

I've been catching up a bit on my reading of science fiction. Lately I've been working my way through several volumes of collected "best of the year" books. Yesterday and today's reading was the "Year's Best SF 8" collection, edited by David Hartwell. The stories were published in 2002. I was mildly surprised that I enjoyed (or at least found interesting) most of them; often I don't. One of the stories really made me laugh: Robert Onopa's "Geropods", first published in F&SF. I loved the premise; a geropod is a legal entity that constitutes a full human being: "any group of infirm old people whose combined physical and mental capacities constitute the powers of a single, competent individual is collectively entitled to act as an individual". So a group of men "escape" from a nursing home (to which some, if not all, of them have been involuntarily committed) by forming a geropod and hiring a younger man with a large vehicle to drive them around. Their original purpose was to get even with the son-in-law of one of the members of the group, who had got the older man been declared incompetent and taken over control of his assets; but during their adventures, they meet another geropod ("babes!") and form some friendships... for a 14-page story, there was a lot in it.