The Time-Lapsed Man and Other Stories (1989)

It’s not often that a writer bursts onto the scene with a short story collection. James Tiptree, Jr did it and some others, but it’s a rare occurrence. One of the others was Eric Brown. The first thing I read by him was exactly this collection “The Time-Lapsed Man and Other Stories”, and it was like reading a complete astonishing collection of puzzles pieces that, combined, made for an fascinating future, on one side a classical sf setting but with a very dark edge.

Every story is composed of an interesting SFnal idea intersecting human drama. It’s like reading a mix of Wolfe and Egan. I’ve read some other novels by Brown since, but while some are really good, nothing really reached the level of this collection. I’m still reading Brown, because he’s an excellent writer despite my misgivings, even if I think there’s still something better to get out of him than his output so far.