I am hoping very much that books like this will lead to resurgence in popularity of the short story anthology. When done well – and this one is done exceedingly well – they are perfectly suited to modern life – accessible to read both quickly and over extended periods of time, to read both at home and on the move and also easy to revisit again and again.
‘The Secrets of Science’ is a masterful example of the genre, replete with stories so varied that it could easily be an anthology by separate authors, only the underlying smoothness and cohesion offered by a singular author belies. There are no throwaway tales here, no filler – each offering is as skilled and worthy as those either side and the effortless enjoyment of reading them doesn’t impact upon the impression of skill that has gone into the crafting of each sentence.
All aspects of human existence from the most mundane – buying a coffee, catching the tube – through to depression, heartbreak, suicide (and even fantastical scientific experimentation!) are visited and reworked. Thoroughly recommended and a fully deserved five stars.