Posts that have been tagged with: "Anthology"

Review

Nebula Awards Showcase 2018

Nebula Awards Showcase 2018

When I mentioned to my husband that I was reviewing the NEBULA AWARDS SHOWCASE 2018 he asked: isn’t the fact that all of these pieces were nominated for an award a review in and of itself?
It’s not a bad question. But I think the answer is only: sort of? Anthologies are are hard. Even anthologies where the stories have all been previously vetted can feel bloated or uneven. In fact, I haven’t picked up an anthology in long time for these two reasons–the last few I read felt like a lot of panning and sifting for very little gold. So even with the words “Nebula Awards Showcase” emblazoned across the front I was skeptical.
And I was wrong. This anthology is full of strong pieces, both short stories and novelettes, as well as (unfortunately, but probably inevitably) excerpted novellas. Jane Yolen, who was the editor of this anthology, faced a tough job but I felt like the pieces she included from the awards spoke to the breadth and depth of the field. She arranged the […]Read the rest of this review »

Review

Tales of Ruma

Tales of Ruma

RPGs are for nerds.

You know it. I know it. They know it. Erm… well, I guess technically I should say “we” know it, because there ain’t no way I’m gonna skirt the issue on this one: we’re pretty much ALL nerds here at EBR. 🙂 And you know what? I think if more “non-nerdy” people would put their petty pride aside for one freaking minute and let themselves get lost in the imagination, adventure, and sheer brilliance of some of the good RPGs out there, the ranks of the RPGers would quickly swell. Because RPGs aren’t just a story; though indeed they are that. And they’re not just a game; though indeed they are that as well. They’re imagination and spontaneity and characterization in a form that you just can’t find anywhere else.

So don’t let anyone sway you from standing up for the oft-berated RPGs and RPGers alike. For it’s from those very annals that Steven Erikson gave us the Malazan Book of the Fallen. And Misters Abraham and Franck gave us the wide tapestry of The Expanse. And for all of you “non-nerdy” people: is there any way you’re going to nay-say the awesome goodness of Stranger Things?

<<crickets>>

I didn’t think so.
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Review

Carbide Tipped Pens

Carbide Tipped Pens

Hard Science Fiction, huh? Sounds cerebral, nerdy, probably unsentimental, maybe a bit dry… but could be good. Or really boring. I have had good fortune reading and reviewing anthologies so far for EBR. (Let the streak continue!)

My sincerest apologies to the publishers of this mostly excellent anthology. This is possibly the most beat-up paperback I have ever carried around and carried around and…which I cannot explain because I enjoyed it very much. There was one story that stopped me cold, though so, in good conscience, I could not write this review until I had read every SINGLE word. That wasn’t easy.
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Review

Writers of the Future, Volume 34

Writers of the Future, Volume 34

I find it somewhat unsettling how quickly I tend to look past the art associated with this annual anthology. Well, if I’m being truthful, I tend to naturally look past most of what is offered in these anthologies other than the stories from the winners. Because it’s those stories that most have the chance of speaking to my soul, as an aspiring author myself. And yet, this time around, I’ve made it a goal to give special attention to those “extras”. After all, it’s the winners of the “Illustrators of the Future” that will be penning the future covers that will catch my attention enough to get me to pick up books and give the first handful of written pages a chance at catching my mind afire. As well, it is the extra writings–the essays and sometimes stories from the judges of the contest–that represent what they admire and enjoy in fiction. There is indeed much more to this anthology than just a simple collection of stories by a bunch of newbie, but not always unskilled, writers of fantastical fiction.
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Review

Dreams of Distant Shores

Dreams of Distant Shores

Patricia A. McKillip’s writing is often described as ‘ethereal.’ If you’ve read really anything by her you would be nodding your head. In her most recent anthology, DREAMS OF DISTANT SHORES, we are treated to her lovely prose, with a collection of stories that are surprisingly different. They are alternately strange and silly, but all are thought-provoking.
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Review

Champions of Aetaltis

Champions of Aetaltis

Whilst in the midst of reading this anthology I was reminded of a concept that is occasionally important for me to revisit. That is the idea that my opinion is not everybody’s opinion, AND (a twofer for the masses…) there can frequently be a wide range of goodness separating multiple stories written by a single author. Thus, as a reviewer, it’s my job to give an honest review of what is given to me, and, quite honestly, to enjoy what is given to me as a reader, plain and simple. For it is when I forget that I am a reader that I lose the view of who these stories were meant for. Maybe a little deep for an everyday book review intro. I seem to be on a kick lately though. So, if you must, TLDR; this bit and jump straight into the good stuff.
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Review

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

Posted: March 8, 2016 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Ken Liu, Science Fiction, Anthology
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

Before Ken Liu wrote novels like THE GRACE OF KINGS (EBR Review), he wrote short stories, several of which won notable awards. THE PAPER MENAGERIE AND OTHER STORIES is a compilation of not only his award-winning shorts, but also some of his own favorites, including one not previously published.

They are stories filled with emotion, creativity, and beautiful prose. And all will require a degree of contemplation–these are not simple stories, as they are filled with multiple layers of character, situation, and setting. Each is worth thinking about what Liu is trying to say. It’s these very qualities that makes this anthology worth reading.
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Review

Fiction River: Alchemy and Steam

Fiction River: Alchemy and Steam

I love the art of the short story, and always have. I’ve written a few myself, much to the conspicuous delight of mostly bored teachers and professors, leading me to believe I had “it” and would someday write something really fabulous. But in the real world, the “it” factor is oh-so-rare. I am happy to say that several of the stories in this anthology have at least a spark of brilliance and, in several cases, more than just a spark. Just look at the gorgeous cover art, hinting at the awesome content within!
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Review

Writers of the Future, Vol. 31

Writers of the Future, Vol. 31

Writers of the Future is quite easily one of, if not the, most prestigious contests in the world for speculative short fiction. The contest runs each quarter of the year, with the top three stories in the bunch being awarded with publication in the anthology, a place-dependent cash prize, royalties on the anthology they are published in (I believe), and a free week-long writing retreat with all of the new authors published in the anthology being taught by a large cadre of impressive, published authors. It’s no small thing, this “little” contest. If you’re a new writer, you should absolutely be starting off by sending your short stories there. Start at the top, I always say. Don’t short-change yourself by starting anywhere else. If you’re not a new writer though, and you find yourself picking this anthology up, you can be sure to find lots of interesting Science Fiction to satiate your palette.
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Review

Unfettered

Unfettered

This anthology has attached to it one of those feel-good kind of stories that just makes you want to buy the thing. The editor, Shawn Speakman, contracted Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011, accrued a bundle of debt because he didn’t have health insurance at the time, and these stories were put together as a means by which to alleviate some of that debt. Each of the stories contained in the anthology were ones that the authors contributed freely to Mr. Speakman’s cause and showed them to rally round the flag, so to speak, of a fellow author that was in need. It was a reminder to me that even big-name authors are real people with real problems too. Sometimes it can be easy to forget that. So regardless of what I thought of this anthology (it was good, people – don’t let my little misdirections fool you) my hat goes off to each of the authors that contributed to the anthology. Bravo, my friends. Bravo.
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