I don't usually like to read short-story collections, as they often require too much effort to find the diamonds hidden among the cubic zirconium. I had high hopes for Intelligent Design due to the cover promise of "11 all-new science fiction tales that explore one of today's most controversial topics--evolution versus creationism".
Bookfetish readers may have noticed a semi-religious theme in some of the books and topics we discuss--or maybe it's just me. Literally. It seems I'm the designated religion basher, or perhaps religion interrogator is the more appropriate word. I may be a recovering Catholic, but I try to keep an open mind regarding the both views of evolution and creationism. Although, in all honesty, I lean toward man evolving from the apes because it's just so apparent in everything men do -- but that's another topic all together.
I don't want to say that I was disappointed in the book because it's really not the book's fault; you're only as strong as your weakest link. I'm not so heartless as to point out who those links are -- yes, there was way more than one -- so I'll focus more on the stories that held my attention for more than three seconds.
Before I begin, I would like to note that I truly tried to give my attention to each story but the wordiness, lack of action and over-powering monotony of some of the entries kept dealing fatal blows to any interest I could muster. So, I will start with Int Des 101 which, in my opinion, was far and away the best story in the first half of the book. The idea of highly evolved primates sitting in a college class learning about intelligent design from an attractive baboon, while the female students swooned over his pink callosite covered butt, was creative and entertaining.
Unfortunately, Int Des 101 began dominating the second half too. I thought there might be a possibility with Created He Then; a story about whole cities returning to its natural, undeveloped state. People were being evacuated and others were disappearing. I managed to stay with the whole story only to find out that the big finish included cats with opposable thumbs. "What???" you're saying. That's what I said too.
I had a glimmer of hope with Luck Be A Lady, where modern-day super heroes with names like Poker Boy and Front Desk Girl find out that The Bookkeper kidnapped Lady Luck to prove that luck doesn't exist. He was successful but now he must prove luck does exist or life as we know it will begin to unravel. It was fairly entertaining but again, nothing earth shattering.
At this point, I've pretty much exhausted my will to continue reading. Unlike novels, when a story collection is underwhelming you keep going in hopes the next story will be better. The reality is, it almost never happens. Just like I promised you a discussion and all you ended up with was a book review.