Genre Mixed Genre Collection Publisher Golden Gryphon Press Year Published 2009 Review Posted on 6/27/2013 Reviewer Rating
Dreamwish Beasts and Snarks, by Michael Resnick
Book Review by Paul Weiss
Have you read this book?
I've always admired the cleverness and the creative ability of authors
of all stripes. But, as a long time fan of sci-fi, one of the more
esoteric and most ignored genres in the universe of literature, I've
always had the personal conceit that sci-fi authors had to be blessed
with an extra dose of imagination, prescience, daring and, dare I say
it, an exceptionally large storehouse of hardcore physical knowledge of
the world around us. In a universe of brilliant authors that include
such classic standouts as Isaac Asimov, Clifford D Simak and HG Wells,
or more modern wordsmiths - Ben Bova, Robert Sawyer and Jack McDevitt,
to name only a few - Michael Resnick is rapidly establishing a
reputation as a standout in the field.
"Dreamwish Beasts and Snarks" is an anthology of several short stories
and two novellas based on the theme of hunting and safaris with definite
fantastical and futuristic twists.
Knowing that Michael Resnick was a fan of Africa and things African,
such as safaris, one of Resnick's friends once challenged him to write
"the ultimate sci-fi hunting story". Using Lewis Carroll's poem, "The
Hunting of the Snark" as a leaping off point, Resnick knew he had a
story to tell. The modern "Hunting the Snark", a Hugo and Nebula award
nominee, while clearly demonstrating Resnick's admiration for Carroll's
poetry is anything but derivative and the ending is pure Resnick. In
another homage to classic literature, Resnick's novella, "The Soul
Eater", is a futuristic space-faring version of Herman Melville's "Moby
Dick" that one reviewer even categorized as "one of the strangest love
stories you'll ever read".
"Bwana" is a satirical fable that criticizes western white man's
ethnocentric assumption that modern, civilized man always has something
better to offer a nomadic, hunter-gather culture. "Safari 2103 AD",
while perhaps a little beyond the bounds of credibility in terms of a
realistic future, certainly offers a very clear warning about the
natural world a distant future may face if nothing is done to halt
pollution, global warming, deterioration of natural habitats and the
like. It is, in short, a cautionary tale about how our ancestors may
perceive "big game safaris".
While obviously thematic in nature, "Dreamwish Beasts and Snarks" is
also eclectic, in the sense that it contains a variety of styles - humor, fantasy, space opera, satire, social comment and even a dollop
I've read very little of Michael Resnick's body of work but I'm
certainly looking forward to exploring more. All fans of sci-fi will
love "Dreamwish Beasts and Snarks". I'd even go so far as to say that
readers looking for a good place to begin an exploration of the sci-fi
genre would do well to look no further than this wonderful of stories.
Dreamwish Beasts and Snarks, by Michael Resnick on Amazon