2012 is as good an anthology as I have ever read - and despite my rollercoaster reaction I have read rather a lot! Collectively, I think it's a terrific book; you read these stories back to back, and you get these wonderful shards of paranoia and concern and honest-to-God passion for our planet. I love that. I told you I think short story collections should feel as if they're a single whole, not a mishmash - and this is exactly what 2012 does so brilliantly. Each contribution collides off another in a way that deepens the one you've just read. (And the recurring theme of dwindling water takes on an ever greater power.) It sounds, at best, a rather backhanded compliment when I say that no individual story is as impressive as the entire book. There are some very good stories in here, I think, and some which don't work for me, but are propped up by the cumulative effect of the themes they explore.
I think I'm going to love Ben Peek's work. I'm glad I bought his book. He's quirky and weird and approaches things from left field. "David Bowie" may well be the best written piece in the book. But I'd bet my bottom dollar that this isn't Ben Peek writing at full throttle. It's clever, of course, but there's something a bit lazy about it, I think. I do like it a lot, and I appreciate effortless writing - but for all its cleverness it doesn't have as much thought behind it as other stories. I enjoyed it very much, though.
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