Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Starry Rift ed. by Jonathan Strahan

srlg2The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows edited by Jonathan Strahan 530 pgs. 2008 3.25/5 This is a damn cool anthology. Since I found it under the young adult section at Barnes and Noble, I'm guessing that is the targeted demographic, but really it's a book that anyone can enjoy - particularly if you're a fan of science-fiction. It collects 16 short stories, some of them nearing novella length, by various authors in the field. The majority of them are extremely well written and entertaining, though there are a few that just disappointed me and made me want it to just be over. Most of the stories are not overly based on scientific jargon, so it's a fairly well balanced, very readable anthology. I tend to not like sci-fi when it gets too technical, and this one didn't. Several of the stories I would love to see expanded into novel length. Here are my favorites: Ass-Hat Magic Spider by Scott Westerfeld - Amazing short story that any lover of books will enjoy. Really can't say much about this one without giving away the lovely surprise of the story. I may just try Uglies after reading this! Orange by Neil Gaiman - Loved this one. In this story we're given a series of answers. We don't know what the questions are, we are left to muse about those on our own. But we realize through the narrators answers that something very strange has happened involving the color orange and space aliens. Repair Kit by Stephen Baxter - Very cool story that is sort of an homage to the classic pulp sci-fi stories. Really enjoyed this one. Anda's Game by Cory Doctorow - Yes it's a play on "Ender's Game". This story looks at international affairs through the eyes of a game similar to World of Warcraft. Very cool. The Star Surgeon's Apprentice by Alastair Reynolds - Easily my favorite story of the anthology. This one was absolutely incredible. Very much a sort of steampunk sci-fi story concerning a made ship captain who creates new beings from ones that he destroyed. You have to read this one! Lost Continent by Greg Egan - This story was really sad but quite sweet in the end. It's sort of a look at prisoner camps but set in the future. Very relevant story these days. Pinocchio by Walter Jon Williams - The book finishes off on a high note. This one is an examination of celebrity and it's effects on normal people. Tell me this story wasn't written about Britney Spears! So I really loved 7 of the 16 stories. There were others that were ok and some that were just bad, but overall, the stories that I loved held enough to still give this one a rating over 3! Highly recommended.

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