Overall, the short stories in this collection are just that – short. Yet Robinson still manages to tell distinct, engaging stories in each. The explanations after each are rather interesting as well. For example, the motivation for the actual ‘Insomnia’ short story was Robinson’s own battle with a disorder he has given a character in one of his actual books and how it typically keeps him awake at night longing for sleep.
This project was something Robinson has called a “test bed” of ideas, and many of them worked well.
Going down the list:
‘Insomnia’ could very well be made into a 1984-type long form book, and the possibilities there are intriguing.
‘The Eater’ was intriguing in short form, as the story of three young brothers who deal with an unknown black substance, but I think a long-form treatment would have to go a more horror route, which I’m personally not a fan of.
‘Harden’s Tree’ could very easily be made to fit into an almost ‘Chess Team’ style book, and was another solid short story.
‘Star Crossed Killers’ was a Mr and Mrs Smith style story that worked well in this collection.
‘Counting Sheep’ could be very interesting as one scene of a much longer story.
‘Hearing Aid’ was probably my least favorite of this collection, but I appreciate that Robinson is stretching what he normally does.
‘Dark Seed of the Moon’ could be another potential book for Robinson, and maybe even an ANTARKTOS level series if played right.
Overall, the collection was very solid and a refreshing look at an author actively working to test and refine his craft.