Virtual Unrealities by Alfred Bester

 

Science Fiction

Virtual unrealities Virtual UnrealitiesAlfred Bester; Vintage Books 1997WorldCatThese short stories are a collection of Alfred Bester’s work. I enjoyed some of them, didn’t understand others. There were not any I disliked, just those where I was confused when the story ended.

I was pleased to find a short time travel story that had haunted me for years. I don’t remember when I first read The Men Who Murdered Mohammed. It is one of those stories that stuck with me since. At the start a man finds his wife in the arms of another. So he uses a time machine he had already built to go back and change history. He goes back and kills his wife’s grandmother. When he returns to the present, nothing has changed. She is still with another man. He gets frustrated so keeps going back in history and changing things. He changes both his wife’s personal history and the global history, like shooting George Washington in 1775. Yet the present is unaffected. It takes a while to figure what is being affected by his changes. This one is fun, and shows the wierd ways Bester’s mind would work.

There is the start of a story included in this volume. He died before he finished writing it. The few pages grabbed me, and made me wish I knew the whole story. It was another example of the wonderful way this author thought.

After seeing Bester’s work recommended, I started with this collection of short stories. I will be reading more of his work…time to call the library again.

More books by Alfred Bester

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