Cover image for The dragons of Springplace
The dragons of Springplace
Reed, Robert, 1956-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Collinsville, Ill. : Golden Gryphon Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
viii, 312 pages ; 22 cm
The dragons of Springplace -- Waging good -- To church with Mr. Multhiford -- Stride -- Chrysalis -- The utility man -- Guest of honor -- Decency -- Thr remores -- Aeon's child -- The shape of everything.
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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In the title story of this first-rate science fiction collection, a renegade misfit conquers the dragons and renews the threat of nuclear chaos aboard Springplace, a man-made repository for old reactor cores, dirty plutonium, and dismantled bombs. Another story is a sprawling intergalactic epic that takes place aboard a starship. Salvaged and commandeered by humans, the massive generation starship becomes the setting for a titanic struggle between two alien entities who engage in a monumental battle for survival. The tale "Chrysalis" explores not just an alien milieu but the nature of man himself when another ancient starship lands and investigates an icy unknown planet inhabited by humans millions of years earlier.

Author Notes

Robert Reed is an American science fiction author. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska on October 9, 1956, and received a B.S. in Biology from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1987. He worked as a lab technician for several years, before being able to earn his living as a full-time author.

Reed has won numerous literary awards throughout his prolific career, most notably, the Hugo Award in 2007 for his novella, A Billion Eyes. His other titles include: The Memory of Sky, The Greatship, The Cuckoo's Boys, Sister Alice, The Well of Stars, and Marrow.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

A collection of stories originally published individually in various magazines, The Dragons of Springplace is a good introduction to an unfamiliar author. The stories have familiar sf themes. For example, a shy intellectual working in an industrial plant hopes a visiting alien will recognize his hidden worth and true devotion in "The Utility Man," and a wealthy young woman from a lunar city reinvents herself while struggling to help the outcast poor of a polluted, diseased Earth in "Waging Good." If not particularly original, they are well written and feature well-rounded, believable characters, which are often rare in "hard" sf. Stephen King fans will love the story of a long-distance runner in the race of his life against a leathery predator that calls itself only the Terror, and the remaining stories provide a nice assortment of crop circles, future worlds, and clones. (Reviewed March 15, 1999)096559016XRoberta Johnson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Like Reed's 1997 novel Beneath the Gated Sky, these 11 short stories, all written since 1993 and originally published in Asimov's or the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, soar into boldly realized starscapes and plunge into profound human heartaches. With clean, convincing story lines, Reed moves easily from near-future encounters with alien visitors, as in his ingenious treatment of crop circles in "To Church with Mr. Multhiford" and the ominous avian roadrunner from an alternative Earth in "Stride," to humanity's far-future cosmic voyages, as in "Chrysalis," "Guest of Honor," "Aeon's Child" and "The Remoras." Sympathetic characterizations of underdog heroes and alien or android antagonists alike flesh out the common theme of this collection: a victimized outsider survives and prevails not by cunning or brute strength, but through compassion. Reed is particularly adroit at conveying the stupidity of war, another of his major concerns, and the sadistic collective urge to destroy weak, sick or merely "different" members of the human pack, as in the remarkably poignant "Waging Good," a startling glimpse of post-nuclear devastation. "Aeon's Child" falters slightly because of a conflict almost too vast to imagine, but most of these stories turn expertly upon a gasp of epiphany, the recognition that in undreamed-of futures, galactic deeps or a neighboring cornfield lies undeniable truth about what makes us human. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved