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Other Worlds Than These

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  647 ratings  ·  87 reviews
What if you could not only travel any location in the world, but to any possible world?We can all imagine such "other worlds"be they worlds just slightly different than our own or worlds full of magic and wonderbut it is only in fiction that we can travel to them. From The Wizard of Oz to The Dark Tower, from Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass to C. S. Lewis's The ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Night Shade Books
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-n-sweet, scifi
Just before I start - this is an "I wish GR had a ten star rating system so I could give a seven" three; a positive three for sure.

Other Worlds Than These has been on my TBR for quite a while now - I'm so into portal fantasy, thank you healthy coping mechanisms - and having just started a two week break, being behind on my challenge spurred me into finally getting around to it. And while it's definitely good - John Joseph Adams knows what he's doing and has the authorly contacts to pull a truly
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Because of the theme of this anthology - parallel universes, alternate worlds - there is a very wide range of subgenres from science fiction and fantasy represented, in the best way. I skimmed the military stuff.

A few highlights for me:
Crystal Halloway and the Forgotten Passage by Seanan McGuire.
This was the first story I'd written by McGuire-not-Grant, and it brought me to TEARS. Feeling foolish, I tweeted this, and she responded in under 2 minutes. I was surprised, but it is touching.

Pretty good collection of parallel world and portal stories that started out a lot stronger than it finished.
Midu Hadi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
At 550 pages this book is much longer than it needed to be. Had its length been cut in half, and a more judicious selection made of its contents, it would have been much improved.

The book contains thirty short stories, so there was bound to be some unevenness in the selections, but even so some are sloppy and poorly executed, wandering around and then trailing off without ever going anywhere. I understand that in stories about multiple dimensions there has to be a bit of hand-waving and a deus
Aug 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Prior to hearing about this anthology, it never really occurred to me just how much I enjoy stories set in alternate worlds. The Wizard of Oz, Stephen King's The Dark Tower, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials--heck, even Quantum Leap back when I was a kid. It makes sense considering there is already an other-worldliness to the fantasy and science-fiction genres. So with a premise like that, I had to wonder what kinds of worlds would be presented in this anthology.

Things started off on the Moon
Miloș Dumbraci
2,5 but closer to 2 (a 6-6.5/10). Almost all the stories are good(ish), but none memorable enough to remember 3 days later.
Plenty of great names on the cover, no great story inside - not even King's or Martin's; it is obvious the editor chose the names with selling power, not the texts, so we get a very forgettable collection.
Also, the anthology is too big for its own good - about 30 stories on just 2 subjects (parallel worlds, portals), so it gets rather boring to read after half.
Not really a
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First and foremost I would like to thank Night Sky Books for letting me read and review this book for them.

Short story collections containing works by multiple authors can be hard to judge fairly on any kind of rigid scale, because it is rare that a reader will find every story equally good or bad. I have given each story its own 1-5 rating as well. I would recommend this collection to any fantasy or science fiction fans, some of the stories were truly magical. This book is not a light read,
   Average rating of all 30 short stories combined: 3.633, rounded up to 4 for the full collection. Adams chose to arrange the stories into the alternating pattern of portal universe-multiverse-portal universe, etc., which worked well so that while you knew which type of story was coming up next, you also did not get over inundated with too many of one type in a row. The alternation worked well to balance the anthology and keep the reader engaged, in addition to the actual story content.

Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: needs-editing
John Joseph Adams' taste in stories and mine don't always coincide, but when I saw this on $1.99 sale and checked the authors in the table of contents, I thought there would probably be enough stories I enjoyed to make it worth buying. I was pleasantly surprised to end up enjoying almost all of them.

I've always liked portal fantasy, which is coming back into vogue again (after a break while everyone sorted out the whole colonialist aspect). I also enjoy, to a lesser extent, alternate-worlds
Nov 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alternative versions of yourself
Recommended to Alan by: A beloved theme and killer lineup
In a parallel universe very close to this one, I didn't even see this book. In a world beyond the veil behind the secret door, libraries are guarded by demons and I was not allowed to see this book. But in this universe... Other Worlds Than These is present for my enjoyment, and yours.

Ace editor John Joseph Adams has created what looks at first like nothing more than YATAYet Another Theme Anthology. With its awkward mixture of typefaces and muddy images on the cover, it's not a very attractive
Apr 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually havent finished yet but am starting review so I can write up each story as I am reading the book piecemeal as opposed to straight through

Moon Six by Stephen Baxter is a story where we first see two astronauts on the moon, doing what astronauts do. Then, suddenly, one disappears, the lander does to. Soon enough our lone astronaut discovers a Russian cosmonaut but he also realizes the geography of the moon is different. It comes to pass he is moving across time on the moon and is
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthologies
Foreword Lev Grossman 5 [] reality is not where it's at, my friend, so get out by any point of egress you can find and get into somewhere better.

Introduction John Joseph Adams 5 very helpful. It probably would have impacted my enjoyment of the book as a whole having not had the information here in advance

Moon Six Stephen Baxter 3 interesting, but dry

A Brief Guide to Other Histories Paul McAuley 4 interesting and enjoyable. It was a cool idea that pulled me right in.

Crystal Halloway
Camila Dodik
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm on an SF-anthology reading binge, and I enjoyed the other collection edited by John Joseph Adams that I read, The Living Dead. I picked this one up because I was allured by the cover art, the red-black-beige/white design, and the indication that it featured stories by Ursula K. Le Guin. It's a collection of portal fantasies and parallel universe stories, and I enjoyed that the editor's introduction compares these categories and talks about how essentially linked they are. Maybe another thing ...more
Deborah Gallatin
Imaginative & Engaging!

If possible, I would've given this book more than 5 stars. Each & every story was well written, filled with creativity, and had not a dull moment anywhere.
Although I loved the entire book, certain stories struck me as A+ standouts. The first was The Goat Variations, written by Jeff Vandermeer. If after reading this story, you find yourself still not a fan of the fantasy genre, go back and re-read it. I can almost assure you, this one will make you a fan.
The second
Michael Bartlett
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
With anthologies, I usually comment on each story. Not for this one. I skipped thru too many of these, found too many of them unreadable--not for bad writing but for unpleasurable content. Others, especially by names I recognized, I definitely liked, but didn't find memorable.

Nevertheless, I'm going to use my tiny soapbox for one objective: To inveigh against Joyce Carol Oates.

"The Rose Wall" suffers from the same problem of everything of hers I can remember that's allegedly in the genre. It
Violet Laflamme
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
Continuing on with the trend from last year of just sort of letting books find me, I trawled through my boyfriend's ebook collection for things to put on the kindle. We don't read very similar things, but I still loaded quite a few on, hoping to get an experience by reading things outside of the genre I normally would.

For starters, I don't usually read anthologies.

I found this one to be very good. I'd say some of the stories were only three star stories, but some of them I absolutely loved. I
Deb Oestreicher
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good anthology of stories about crossing into other universes. Talk about escapism! Like any anthology, some stories are better than others--outstanding stories like Kelly Link's "Magic for Beginners" are balanced by clunkers like Robert Reed's "Like Minds." (Your mileage may vary, of course.) Many stories are more notable for intriguing ideas than great writing, but that's pretty typical in this genre. Recommended if you're seeking some escapist reading.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I good collection of alternate world stories, including one by Ursula K. LeGuin (sadly, recently departed) that I had never read before. (I'll have to get her book "Changing Planes" where this story came from.)
It was a mixed bag of stories, some I liked more than others, but that's a good thing--shows the breadth of stories chosen and how writers can be so creative in playing with the idea of "other worlds."
Very enjoyable.
Mar 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, sff
This was fine. Several standout stories but a good deal more middling ones. I will say reading dozens of alt reality and portal fantasy in a row does have the effect of making one feel very small in your own little piece of the universe.

Particularly great stories were Crystal Halloway and the Forgotten Passage, Twenty-Two Centimeters, Nothing Personal, The Thirteen Texts of Arthyria, Signal to Noise, Porridge on Islac, Dear Annabehls, and The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr.
Jenny Thompson
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fantasy
The anthology certainly had its ups and downs, but what an impressive variety of short stories! Personal favorites were William Alexander's "Ana's Tag," Pat Cadigan's "Nothing Personal," Kelly Link's "Magic for Beginners," Ian McDonald's "[a ghost samba]," Ursula Le Guin's "Porridge on Islac," and Yoon Ha Lee's "Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain."
Ryan Dash
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I dont typically like short stories, as they generally dont have enough space to develop a premise or characters, no matter how interesting. This holds true for even the better stories in this collection. In total, there were a couple of good stories, a couple of decent ones, a couple of mediocre ones, and a whole lot of bad ones. ...more
Roxie Klinksiek
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Every story was a jewel. Each one uniquely interesting and provocative. My favorites were written by Gregory Benford, Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, Ursula K LeGuin, George R R Martin, Paul Melko, Seaman McGuire, Tim Pratt, Vandana Singh, Michael Swanwick, Carrie Vaughn, and Christie Yant. This was a most excellent collection.
Michelle Pawlak
Great collection

Many good stories and authors. Was happy to discover a few new to me authors to add to my reading list as well.

Can be hard to put down, whether in a story or just turning pages to the next. Always exciting to see what the "world" coming up will hold.
Jim Kratzok
A nice collection of short stories

This was a very good collection of stories. Although some are not my cup of tea, many others were wonderful. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys creative science fiction
What a great find! Though this book was very inexpensive, there are many gems. There are fanciful adventures (Stephen King & Robert Siverberg), lyrical prose (Catherynne Valente), and many great stories. This is one to be savored and reread.
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good compilation of shorts

Great alt-world sci-fi reading for the plane or downtime. Not all the stories are amazing, but the assortment is very good.
Justin Robinson
Far more duds than gems.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I liked almost all of the stories, and many of them were pretty unexpected. There were some stories that I really, really liked. Overall it was somewhat too long.
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John Joseph Adams is the series editor of BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as ROBOT UPRISINGS, DEAD MAN'S HAND, BRAVE NEW WORLDS,WASTELANDS, and THE LIVING DEAD. Recent and forthcoming books include WHAT THE #@&% IS THAT?, OPERATION ARCANA, PRESS START TO PLAY, LOOSED UPON THE WORLD, and THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH ...more

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