Overall, Worlds Apart is a good anthology, but I liked it more for its raison d’être than the stories it contains.
11 short stories explore the futureOverall, Worlds Apart is a good anthology, but I liked it more for its raison d’être than the stories it contains.
11 short stories explore the future, society, gender, and sexuality. How do societal norms become the norm? What if sex changes were easily available? Would that change relations? If so, how? These are just a few of the questions brought up in this anthology.
Samuel Delany’s story was written in the sixties when so many things like sex, much less "deviation", were mentioned aloud. Born in 1915, Alice Bradley Sheldon felt the need for a male pen name and so used James Tiptree Jr. Although their short stories weren’t the best of introductions, I look forward to reading more by them.
Considering that way before the Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote gay and lesbian pulp fiction in the fifties and sixties, I’m really not surprised that one of her shorts was used in the anthology. There’s still a ton out there I haven’t yet read, but MZB is a long time favourite.
I’ve read stories by John Varley and Joanna Russ elsewhere and I can’t quite put my finger on it, but Varley’s rub me the wrong way. I’d be more inclined to read more by Russ though.
It's a good collection, especially considering it was published in 1986. I think nowadays there are better GLBT SF anthologies out there. ...more
Reading the short stories was as entertaining as if I were watching The Twilight Zone. I really enjoyed reading Rod Serling’s writing and adding to thReading the short stories was as entertaining as if I were watching The Twilight Zone. I really enjoyed reading Rod Serling’s writing and adding to the experience was his audible narration in the back of my mind. I recommend the collection of 6 episodes that were published in 1962, after their airing.
"There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone."
Overall, I liked Catfantastic and the authors’ insights into feline minds. Some of the stories I liked better than others, but that’s to be expected.
AOverall, I liked Catfantastic and the authors’ insights into feline minds. Some of the stories I liked better than others, but that’s to be expected.
Andre Norton sums up the sci-fi/fantasy anthology purrfectly in the introduction:
"Herein are neither Heathcliff nor Garfield but some others who have as definite personalities to make forceful impressions within their territories... Cats are presented in all shapes, colors, sizes, alike in self-confidence and general ingenuity. There seems never to have been a cat who was not entirely equal to the situation which confronts him or her. In other words, there are no extraordinary cats, merely ones to whom unusual opportunities present themselves."
I picked up the collection because it has short stories by Mercedes Lackey and Andre Norton. It was also published in 1989 by DAW, which has printed countless books and authors I’ve raved about through the years. One doesn’t need to know about or like all of the above to enjoy this collection of short stories. ...more
The anthology of four novellas is a good introduction to authors and their series. If one is already familiar with them, consider it a bonus collectioThe anthology of four novellas is a good introduction to authors and their series. If one is already familiar with them, consider it a bonus collection. It's a nice little addition to one's sci-fi/fantasy books.
Ranking those I liked from most to least are “the Grinning Man”, “the Seventh Shrine”, “the Wood Boy”, and “Little Sisters of Eluria”.
Stephen King – “Little Sisters of Eluria” – Dark Tower: While on his way to the Dark Tower, Roland arrives at the deserted village of Eluria where he is attacked by a group of slow mutants. He awakens under the care of strange nuns who may have helped him, but don’t want him to leave.
The plot itself was interesting in a macabre sort of way, but the 112-page novella started off slowly. Once the introductory beginning was done it was better and easier to get through. If one is already familiar with and likes the Dark Tower series, then it may make for more enjoyable reading. I had heard from others that King tends to be a bit long winded so I had an idea of what I was in for. I might pass on reading more King and stick to watching the movies.
Robert Silverberg – “the Seventh Shrine” – Majipoor: The ruler of Majipoor, Valentine, visits an archeological site to investigate the head archeologist's murder. Violent death at the hands of another is rare, but ties between the aborigines, whom the humans had been at war with, are still fragile. Questions arise about why Dr. Huukaminaan was killed and why the Seventh Shrine is so sacred. Who dunnit?
I liked this 125-page murder mystery and Silverberg’s writing. I'll be reading more.
Orson Scott Card – “the Grinning Man” – Tales of Alvin Maker: In an alternate America where the Revolutionary War never happened and folk magic works, Alvin is marked as a person of great power. During their travels, Alvin and his ward come across a man with a coonskin cap who’s “a-busy grinning” a bear. While working at a town’s mill, they discover why the miller is so prosperous.
The tale gave me the sense that I was hearing it while sitting around a campfire. Card’s use of colloquial language also adds to its depth. 57 pages didn’t seem long enough for this quick read.
Raymond E. Feist – “the Wood Boy” – the Riftwar Saga: Dirk learns to cope with life on an estate that was taken by the invading militaristic Tsurani. When the lord’s daughter is kidnapped, Dirk sets out on a treacherous journey with nothing to lose and nowhere else to go.
This 50-page story was short, but sweet and more from the series are in my reading pile....more
While wine flowed prior to a sci-fi con in ’78, Robert Asprin said to his cohorts, “Imagine if our favorite sword-and-sorcery characters shared the saWhile wine flowed prior to a sci-fi con in ’78, Robert Asprin said to his cohorts, “Imagine if our favorite sword-and-sorcery characters shared the same settings and time-frames. Imagine the potentials. Imagine the tie-ins. What if…” the characters know of each other and their paths crossed? What if several writers agree to contribute their own characters and plots? What if the writers could use each others’ characters? Such is how the fantasy anthology Thieves’ World and its series were born.
Within the city of Sanctuary readers are introduced to Enas Yorl who is powerful but can’t undo his curse, thieving Shadowspawn who gets caught in a trap set for another, the wandering minstrel Cappan Varra, madame Myrtis who wants to bargain for her girls, and many others. They aren’t as cliché as they might seem. Because a writer’s character is shared, intonations and perceptions may seem to vary. It’s a case of he said she said. Thieves’ World is like a mystery where everyone is asked to give their account. And as Asprin said in his editor’s note, “the pecking order of Sanctuary will vary depending on who you talk to…or more importantly, who you believe”.
Those who let their arms be twisted into joining the project are:
* John Brunner- “Sentences of Death” * Lynn Abbey- “The Face of Chaos” * Poul Anderson- “The Gate of the Flying Knives” * Andrew J. Offutt- “Shadowspawn” * Robert Lynn Asprin – “The Price of Doing Business” * Joe W. Haldeman- “Blood Brothers” * Christine DeWees- “Myrtis” * Marion Zimmer Bradley- “The Secret of the Blue Star”
Thieves’ World is a fun, entertaining, and enjoyable read. Some of the the writing may not be the best, but it gets points for originality. While some writers went on to other projects later on, new contributors joined Sanctuary. I’m looking forward to reading more of the anthologies and/or the spin-off novels, of which there are many....more
Ravens in the Library is an excellent collection of stories by Laurell K. Hamilton, Seanan McGuire, Neil Gaiman, and several others. I look forward toRavens in the Library is an excellent collection of stories by Laurell K. Hamilton, Seanan McGuire, Neil Gaiman, and several others. I look forward to opening its magic again and again. Created as a fundraiser for bard extraordinaire S.J. Tucker, the anthology just goes to show that fairy tales with happy endings still happen....more
I liked the Compass Rose, but found it best to read slowly. I read one or two stories in a day, if I had the energy and picked the book up at all. SomI liked the Compass Rose, but found it best to read slowly. I read one or two stories in a day, if I had the energy and picked the book up at all. Some stories were more difficult to comprehend or get through than others. "Schrödinger’s Cat" reminded me why I didn’t go into science, but the anthology shows off Le Guin’s academic range. One of my favorites is "the Author of the Acacia Seeds" with its look at languages. Most of the stories ranked a 3 or 4 out of 5.
the Compass Rose is a mixed bag of twenty short stories of fiction, science-fiction, fantasy, speculation, and academia. Le Guin warns that they "tend to go off each in its own direction", but they were previously printed in magazines and books before being compiled under one binding. Grouped into sectioned directions, they vary from family matters to the sciences and from serious to humorous. Similarly, the writing varies from data to prose, while "Intracom" is a script. On one hand, this shows how versatile a writer Le Guin is, but on the other, some may feel deterred by the inconsistency.
The anthology gave me the opportunity to explore more of Le Guin’s writing, which I generally really like. I do not recommend it as an introduction to Le Guin’s writing or sci-fi. The Lathe of Heaven or the Left Hand of Darkness would better serve those purposes. If one likes fantasy and/or young adult, I suggest the Earthsea series. The Compass Rose isn’t for everyone, but then tastes and perception of literature are relative....more