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Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite
The scope of Ian Williams’ collection of six short stories spans the time from the near future to far into the distant future with a range of topics. These cover global issues such as environmental decay and growing waste problems. These also dig into the relatively recent tendency to warp facts and truth to meet political agendas while dividing democracies rather than uniting to address major issues that affect, often adversely, a preponderance of the population and the problems that may arise through the growth of technology.
In each of the six stories in this collection, Mr. Williams writes with authority and a sense of timing in delivering clues and what could pass for innuendo as he leads the reader through plot twist after plot twist to a surprising conclusion. In all of these stories, that conclusion is not only a surprise, it is equally a statement about the story's subject matter. Each story is different, but each carries a message related to current global issues and potential future results of those issues. I enjoyed each one, but two were particularly relevant to me. “Post-Truth Tours” represents a world whereby the truth is cleverly disguised, hiding the horrible truth about climate change. “Law and Disorder” illustrates how judicial issues can go awry in the hands of artificial intelligence.
The Clockmaker’s Tale is a collection of stories in which Ian Williams keeps the reader guessing through a series of expertly written but often obscure clues which come together in a satisfying, yet unpredictable conclusion. While sci-fi is the predominant genre, Williams demonstrates his knowledge and skill in portraying the cause and effects of run-away high tech, climate change, and political issues on the global population.