Patrick's Reviews > Sword & Laser Anthology

Sword & Laser Anthology by Veronica Belmont
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it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-would-blurb

I liked this anthology enough to actually write an introduction for it. Needless to say, that rarely happens.

I was going to drop a review here, then I realized that would be kinda silly, when the introduction I wrote says everything I want to say, much more clearly and cleanly than any quick review I could bang out.

So here it is...

* * *

This is a good anthology. Can we start there? Let's start there.

That's really the most important thing you can get out of this introduction. tl;dr - This is a good anthology full of stories that are worth your time and money.

If you want, you can hop directly into reading it. Go on. I won't be offended.

For the rest of you, let me be completely honest and say that when I sat down to read this anthology, I was really nervous.

I really admired Veronica and Tom for putting this anthology together. It's not just a cool idea, it's a vital thing. Anthologies that focus on new writers are really important.

Everyone knows it's hard for new writers to get noticed. Anthologies like this help new authors get their foot in the door, so to speak.

I know this for a fact, because an anthology like this helped get me my start as a writer. When I was published in Writers of the Future back in 2002, it opened up doors for me.

So I admired the hell out of Tom and Veronica for giving new-writers a chance to get a leg up. But at the same time, I when I heard Sword and Laser was putting out an anthology, I was worried for them. What's more, I was worried about the anthology itself.

Why? Because I've read submissions for writing contests. I've read stories at writer's workshops. I've taught writing classes. I've read submissions for a few anthologies myself.

In short, I know how many really awful stories are out there.

That sounds harsh. But it's the simple truth. Bad stories outnumber good ones about 50 to 1. And good stories outnumber great ones about 10 to 1. That's the harsh mathmatics of the situation.

I know this better than anyone. Not just because I've read slush. But because I've *written* awful stories. More awful stories than good ones. Many more.

And because I've acted as editor-in-chief before, if only in a small way, I know that sometimes, after reading 40 bad stories, you throw up your hands and just say, "Fine. Fuck! We need to put *something* in this anthology. That story about the mutant in the woods is good enough."

But who wants to read a story that's just "good enough? Not me. I want stories that are great. I want cleverness. I want wit and language and magic. I want to be surprised. I want to be dazzled.

I want brilliant stories. And I'm guessing you do too.

I was not expecting to get that here. But I did. Some of these stories show brilliance. And not just flashes of brilliance, either. Not just a thin gilding of brilliance over the surface of a clunky tin meh. I'm talking about solid brilliance.

Simply said, I was impressed and pleasantly surprised.

Now am I saying that you'll love every story in here? No. That's a ridiculous expectation. Because everyone enjoys different flavors of story.

And honestly, that's one of the strengths of this anthology. There's enough variety here that no matter what you enjoy, you're probably going to find something to your taste.

Okay. That's enough from me. I'm just the opening band. Quit reading my ramble and check out the real stories.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 28, 2014 – Shelved
May 28, 2014 – Shelved as: books-i-would-blurb
May 28, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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message 1: by Woodland (new)

Woodland Animal Nice.


Aidan Ooh, great score!


message 3: by Franco (new)

Franco  Santos Have you read Johan Theorin? I recommend you The Oland Quartet. Good luck, Pat! ;)


Frank G. Torres want to read it so badly, I wish that I was reading it right now


message 5: by Mike (new) - added it

Mike Will you please recommend some other anthologies or short story collections. So far I have this, Unfettered and Rogues on my to be read list. But to be frank, I can't really find any other recommendations regarding great collections/anthologies. I would like to read more of them as they help to give me an idea of which of the various authors I might wish to check out further.


message 6: by Evgeni (new)

Evgeni Kirilov Damnit, Rothfuss, my to-read shelf is already large enough and growing faster than I can read. Stop finding good reads (seewhatididthere)...


message 7: by Jeanette (new) - added it

Jeanette Mike wrote: "Will you please recommend some other anthologies or short story collections. So far I have this, Unfettered and Rogues on my to be read list. But to be frank, I can't really find any other recommen..."

I tend to stick to a few editors of anthologies, so it is great to see a new one by Veronica and Tom who I have followed and enjoyed reviews from. Some Editors I have found that tend to be good bets on great stories are: John Joseph Adams and Ellen Datlow.


message 8: by Alana (new) - added it

Alana Mason Anyone have any advice on how to get into one of these anthologies?


message 9: by Pamela (new)

Pamela swan Guys , im a new memeber here , how i can read something ? i dont get it . pls. reply


message 10: by Mike (new) - added it

Mike Pam, this isn't really a resource for reading books. It's designed to share individual opinions (i.e. reviews) of books and assist people with locating books they might be interested in reading.


message 11: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Lewis I'll be honest, it's been a long time since I last tried to tackle an anthology, which is weird since short stories are my specialty in writing. The only reason I have Rogues shelved is because of Pat here and G.R.R.M, both of whom I already know I enjoy.

Yet with an introduction like that by an author I admire so much, how can I resist? It's going on my shelf.


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