Peter Hamilton’s brick-sized novels are tough to get through, even for a voracious reader like me. This collection of Short stories is refreshingly slim and compact, thank goodness.
‘Watching Trees Grow’ is set in an Alternate-Roman Republic across the Earth, and then eventually into space. A utopia spoiled by a murder of a promising student from a prominent dynastic line.
‘Footvote’ is an interesting tale of what could have been, with Brown still mucking things up and someone opening a wormhole to another planet for people to escape to. ‘If at First’ is a brilliant crime story with an incredible twist, easily my favourite. ‘The Forever Kitten’ asks why Teenagers can become horrible little toerags and what would you do if you could halt the ageing process beforehand.
The final three stories, ‘Blessed by an Angel’, ‘Demon Trap’ and ‘Manhattan in Reverse’ are all set in Hamilton’s Commonwealth universe, exploring different facets of that culture. The last two include Paula Myo of the Serious Crimes Directorate and are cracking futuristic crime dramas, her tenacity and problem-solving skills making them compelling reading, and the last story being the second best of the collection.
Manhattan in Reverse is published by Pan Macmillan £7.99