Alchemy and Academe

Anne McCaffrey
Alchemy and Academe Cover



I've been reading this anthology slowly. I tried to read one short story a day, but I missed a few days here and there. The introduction describing how Anne McCaffrey and Sonya Dorman conceptualized the book was interesting and made me excited for what would come after. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Very few of the stories had anything to do with Academe AND Alchemy; therefore, it was extremely uneven. There's very little academe, and alchemy is very widely construed. Taken as individuals, I liked some of the stories. They are:

"The Weed of Time" Norman Spinrad--very New Wave

"The Man Who Could Not See Devils" Joanna Russ--an interesting take on religion

"Ringing in the Changes" Robert Silverberg--well constructed short story

"In a Quart of Water" David Telfair--what if your shower were haunted?

"The Devil you Don't" Keith Laumer--this one is a funny take on the Devil.

"Mainchance" Peter Tate--Babylonian myth in a post-apocalyptic world

"More Light" James Blish--some one finds the infamous play The King in Yellow that features in Robert Chambers' works, and talks his friend into reading it. Be warned, we get to read it with him.