George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois (editors)
Science fiction, anthology
The idea is a lot of fun: collect stories set on Venus the way it should have been--the lush jungle planet, steaming in the rain and teeming with life, of Golden Age science fiction.
The stories, regrettably, are not a lot of fun. In fact, the stories mostly range from mediocre on downward--boring, poorly structured, and unimaginative. There are only three that I'd recommend:
- "Frogheads", by Allen Steele, is competent.
- "Greaves and the Evening Star", by Matt Hughes, is a flat-out P. G. Wodehouse parody--a gimmick, but largely successful as such.
- "Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan", by Ian McDonald, is quite enjoyable to read. I found the ending a bit predictable, though.