Alastair Reynolds. Sixteen Questions for Kamala Chatterjee. (Bridging Infinity 2016)

bridginginfinityThe latest in Strahan’s Infinity anthology series. You can read some words of his about the anthology on his website.

I’ve read, enjoyed and review the previous volumes : ‘Meeting Infinity‘ (2015); ‘Reach for Infinity’ (2014); ‘Edge of Infinity‘ (2012); and ‘Engineering Infinity’ (2011).

He opens this volume with a short story by Alastair Reynolds, whose short stories I’ve looked forward to reading since their early appearances in Interzone. The short story gives Reynolds a short, finite amount of space in which to work (rather than lengthy novels or trilogies) and this gets his Big Picture Scientist Brain to focus tightly, to generally great effect.

In this story Reynolds cleverly uses the ‘viva voce’ doctoral thesis defence to explore a scientific anomaly that threatens humanity. These are the questions to which the title refers, and Kamala Chatterjee has given her surname to the anomaly that she has identified. As the questions progress, we find out more and more about the Chatterjee Anomaly, and how it has affected her, and how it will impact on humanity.

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