This is an anthology of short fantasy and sci-fi stories written by the notable authors who attend JordanCon, a convention held every year for fans of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. There quite a number of short stories in this, including a few snippets from Brandon Sanderson, all of various types and styles.
I learned that I don't care for these types of books because switching from one story to the next every few pages is a little dizzying, and half the time I felt like I just needed more from each one. Maybe short stories just aren't my thing. Anthologies tend to be like a box of chocolates: you've no idea what you're going to get. Most of these stories were ok, a few were awful, and two ('Fool's Errand' and 'A Cyberkeet's Story') actually stood out to me as excellent ('Tokiminizu' was good too, but just felt so rushed....again, short story issues). 'Kept', 'From Hell with Love', 'A Citizen in Childood's Country', and 'Trading Debts' should all be their own novels. It was frustrating to read how little was there in each story. Sanderson's snippets disappointed me, and 'A Faerie Tale' was just disturbing. 'The Bakery' and 'Lost Love' were clever, and 'The Christmas Count' ended on a creepy note. The rest were just "eh".
I liked the few nods to Robert Jordan or Rand that I caught in many of the stories. I liked learning more about each author. But I think I'd prefer to just read some of their longer works versus short stories. I suppose this could be used as a way to test out an author before reading more of their stuff, but short stories are so different than novels and not all authors can do both well.
Not bad. Not great. Really awesome cover art though.
I don't normally rate anthologies because each story is so different, but as these stories seem to be exclusive, I couldn't rate them separately. The average came out to 3.05 stars. For the most part, my complaint for most of these were that they were too short. Here are the individual ratings, some with a little extra info, in case anyone is looking for specific authors or something.
Doorbuster, P. Andrew Floyd: 4 stars A Citizen in Childhoods Country, Seanan McGuire: 5 stars Tokimimizu, Foster Bridget Cassidy: 4 stars A Faerie Tale, Sarah J. Sover: 3 stars Switch, Tim Lewis: 3 stars Edit the Stars, David Alan Jones: 4 stars Long Live the King, Morgan Smith: 3 stars The Bakery, Alexandra Hill: 4 stars - just wish we'd seen more. There was a nice setup happening as a fairy tale retelling or prequel and it didn't quite come together Rebirth, John J. Hartness: 3 stars Fool's Errand, Gerald L. Coleman: 4 stars The Christmas Count, David B. Coe: 3 stars Lost Love, Robert A. Hilliard Jr.: 3 stars - the twist was predictable, but it was good if you didn't see it coming Trading Debts, Faith Hunter: 3 stars - might have been higher had I understood the context. It felt like it was being written in an already established world that I didn't know. Kept, Blue Cole: 3 stars - Really a 3.5. I liked it but wanted more From Hell with Love, Jana G. Oliver: 4 stars A Cyberkeet's Story, Charles E. Gannon: 4 stars Firestorm, Milton J. Davis: 3 stars Finding Robert Jordan, Jason Denzel: 4 stars - It was hard to pick a rating for this because at least part of this is my own love for Wheel of Time. But the ultimate message at the end makes it feel more universal.
So I put this off for a long time. Partly because we were going to be moving. Partly because I haven’t read many anthologies and wasn’t sure what to expect. And partly because I wasn’t sure if it would be ‘that good’. But it was actually ‘that good’ for almost every story. There were a couple I didn’t love, but many more that were amazing and I wished I had more of than the up-to-20-pages or so that most of them were. I’m really glad I’ve already preordered the one for this year’s JordanCon.
Okay, I admit it. Finding Robert Jordan left me bawling like a baby. Too close to home on that one. ❤️😭