Anthologies Archives

  1. The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction

    The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction
    It’s collections like this, The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction, that make me wish I had a lot more time to read. Unfortunately, pulp magazines are long past their heyday in the U.S. Venues for fun but lower quality fiction aren’t particularly numerous, so lots of that sort of writing has migrated to self-published platforms. Self-publishing lacks the distance of a third party editor. But apparently pulp publishing is alive and well in India, or at least the Tamil speaking part of that country. Blaft is a publisher based out of Chennai, India. How they managed to get their books publicized and distributed in the United States, I do…
  2. Seeds of Change / John Joseph Adams

    Cover of Seeds of Change
    John Joseph Adams is kind of all over the place lately. He’s compiled a billion anthologies, edits Lightspeed magazine, and recently took over Fantasy magazine as well. I met Mr. Adams last year at WisCon where chatted with him at one of the parties and he came across as a generally likable fellow. I’ve read a bunch of issues of Lightspeed, which I generally liked. But despite all of that I haven’t read any of his anthologies up until now. The theme behind Seeds of Change is that the authors specifically tackle the pivotal issues facing our society. It’s a fairly short anthology, only nine stories in 200 plus smaller…
  3. The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Sixth Annual Collection / Gardner Dozois ed.

    Cover of The Year's Best Science Fiction: Sixth Annual Collection
    Not much to say generally. Another pretty good collection of short fiction. Though I do wonder at the preponderance of fantasy stories, particularly given that St. Martin’s was in the 2nd year of their Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series at the time this was published. They did have that niche covered. Surfacing, Walter Jon Williams This story takes two S.F. plots and mingles them, and I don’t really like the effect too well. In the first plot, Anthony brings whales to another world because they can help him communicate with a species that lives underwater on that world. Anthony was a scientist who helped decode whale speech. After the…
  4. Universe 4 / Terry Carr ed.

    Cover of Universe 4
    Back in my youth, I used to travel to the Shoreline Public Library on 175th St., north of Seattle. I worked through as much of the children’s section as I cared. The next section over was science fiction. I barely remember much of what I read, but I recall picking out Damon Knight’s Orbit and Terry Carr’s Universe anthologies. Sadly, my memory doesn’t include the actual stories. Back in the day, major publishers like Random House actually published science fiction anthologies under their own main imprint, rather than sidelining them to specialty imprints like Ace or independent S.F. publishers. These days, if you walk through the S.F./Fantasy aisles at your…
  5. The Year’s Best Fantasy: Second Annual Collection / Ellen Datlow ed. and Terri Windling ed.

    Cover of The Year's Best Fantasy: Second Annual Collection
    Since I like reading the annual Year’s Best S.F. collection put out by Gardner Dozois and St. Martin’s Press, I figured it would be worth the effort to try St. Martin’s companion series covering fantasy and horror fiction. I thought that I might like it better than I do other fantasy, since I’m generally not a fan of Tolkien derivatives. Perhaps the short form would lead to experimentation and something more interesting to me. And it seems, it does lead to more experimentation. Unfortunately, not of the kind I like. Most of the works in this collection were just too confusing for me. However, toward the end, particularly with the…
  6. The Best American Short Stories of 1969 / Martha Foley and David Burnett, eds.

    Cover of The Best American Short Stories of 1969
    This book smells like old books should. The yellowed pages emit the wonderful musty smell peculiar to old books. These days a lot of books are published on acid-free paper, and I wonder how they’ll smell in 30 years. Though mass marker paperbacks aren’t published that way. I want my house to smell like this book. The Eldest Child, Maeve Brennan This short story, only 8 pages long, gives a glimpse of Delia and Martin Bagot shortly after their firstborn dies. Delia retreats to the bedroom, waving off brusquely the attempts by Martin to comfort her. Delia seems to think Martin feels little, and Martin figures Delia’s antics as resulting…
  7. The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Sixteenth Annual Collection / Gardner Dozois ed.

    Cover of The Year's Best Science Fiction: Sixteenth Annual Collection
    This review appeared on my previous blog, Rat’s Reading.This edition of the Year’s Best S.F. seems very heavy with first-contact/gee-wow-there’s-life-where-we-least-expected-it stories. In the list below, I don’t reveal all of them, as in some cases it’s integral to not know about the life ahead of time. But still, be ready for almost any story in this collection to have that as a story element. Oceanic, Greg Egan (1999 Hugo for best novella) Greg Egan’s own description is: The people of Covenant believe they are the descendants of immaterial “Angels” who were brought to the planet by the daughter of God to “repent their theft of immortality” and live and die…
  8. The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirteenth Annual Collection / Gardner Dozois ed.

    Cover of The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirteenth Annual Collection
    This review appeared on my previous blog, Rat’s Reading.Sorry for the extended time between books. Again, this blog isn’t abandoned. Sometimes it just takes me longer to read my books. Such as this one, which is 697 pages long, not counting Dozois’ year in review summary of 1995 at the beginning. Now, on to the stories: A Woman’s Liberation, Ursula K. Le Guin Ursula Le Guin returns to her Ekumen universe for a story of slaves on the planet Werel. The story meanders through Radosse Rakam’s life as her master dies, and his son frees his slaves. However, other nearby landowners don’t take too kindly to this and simply round…
  9. The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Seventeenth Annual Collection / Gardner Dozois ed.

    Cover of The Year's Best Science Fiction: Seventeenth Annual Collection
    This review appeared on my previous blog, Rat’s Reading.I apologize for the delay in posting this. I’ve been reading this collection for a couple of weeks and finally finished it on a short cruise this week. However, I wasn’t about to pay the rates that Celebrity wanted to use the internet on their ships, so I waited until I returned to finish the review. As I’ve written before, I think Gardner Dozois puts out great collections of S.F. This is probably the only anthology series I will ever collect. I only have seven of them, but I poke in the used bookstores in Seattle quite regularly to see if any…
  10. Library of the World’s Best Mystery and Detective Stories: American / Julian Hawthorne

    Cover of Library of the World's Best Mystery anbd Detective Stories: American
    This review appeared on my previous blog, Rat’s Reading.A few years ago I picked up the Library of the World’s Best Mystery and Detective Stories from a garage sale on Queen Anne. Sadly, I now think I may have overpaid. There are six volumes in the set; this one covers American authors. I did not enjoy even one of the stories, except perhaps Bierce’s The Man and the Snake and that one was marginal at best. It’s not that I expected to like all of the stories. But in a volume titled best I would think that the stories would be somewhat timeless. Considering that H.G. Wells’ work retains much…