Some writers need years to create a unique and distinct voice, some seem to come into the writing world with such a voice as if they were born with it. Daniel is of the second type, he’s one of the very few SF writers who can combine great imagination with a prose to rival it, at times I’m reminded at Zelazny. While I didn’t liked every story, even the weakest among them show Daniel’s writing qualities, suck you into his worlds and characters and make you forget that you’re just reading stories.
Most of them are SF, “Grist” and “Mystery Box” are part of a transhuman future history in which Daniel has already written two novels, at times it felt as if the plot has lost to all the imaginative ideas. In the “Death of Reason” cities have developed personalities and fight with each other with humans as their pawns.
“A Dry, Quiet War” is the story of a soldier who comes home from a cataclysmic war, only to find his home threatened, and with it all he had fought for if he chooses to fight this threat. “Life on the Moon” tells the story of a small tragedy, while “Radio Praha” uses weird science to tell another story of love and loss.
“The Robot’s Twilight Companion”, later made into the first third of the novel “Earthling”, is the story of a robot who watches the breakdown of human civilization, while he is trying to find out who he is and what he should do with himself now. Only “Aconcagua” and “Black Canoes” are not SF, the second the story of a strange ritual.