Toast (2004)

A typical collection with excellent and minor pieces. The best were the chilling horror SF “A Colder War”, that combines Cthulhu myths with SF ideas and “Antibodies” which combines AIs with alternate realities and the concept of the singularity. Another good one was “Big Bother Iron”, where Orwell’s Big Brother society comes into contact with the geeks of the new information age and how that plays out.

I also liked the stories that had no real plot, but had some cool ideas, like “Dechlorinating the Moderator” and “Toast: A Con Report”. Some of the other stories are okay, not really outstanding, but readable. “Yellow Snow”, where a clever scheme for making money is devised, “Bear Trap” is part of the Eschaton background, “Extracts from the Club Diary” about a group of people who like coffee and what they create, “A Boy and his God” about the pet of a young boy, and what happens when he discovers other things.

The weakest story was “Ship of Fools”. The ending made no sense at all and the entire story was boring.