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January 2, 2013

Book Review - Lightspeed: Year One edited by John Joseph Adams

As stated in yesterday's post about Lightspeed magazine, the e-magazine full of great science fiction and fantasy stories, there was an anthology put out of every story published in the first year of the magazine. Lightspeed: Year One was a huge trade paperback (at least when I read it, though I see the Kindle version is almost half the price of the paperback right now) that was full of great stuff.

Not sure why there isn't a Lightspeed: Year Two out, which I just realized should have come out in November if they were going to do an annual thing. Maybe it didn't sell? I hope that's not the case.

Anyway, the first anthology has some wonderful stuff in it from a wide range of authors, even including an older story from Stephen King. Some well-known names in the genre are reprinted here, such as Bruce Sterling and Robert Silverberg.

The reprints are worth it in themselves, but then you have all of the great new stuff! Stories like the exquisite "Eliot Wrote" by Nancy Kress, wondering whether our memories help make us who we are, and what happens if some of those memories are taken away?

Here's my review of the book on Curled Up With a Good Book.

From the review:
"The problem with putting everything out there in book form, however, is that there will inevitably be some stories that don't work for some people. I used to subscribe to two or three SF magazines, and there was always the occasional clunker. No magazine is perfect, and tastes range too much for this type of anthology to ever achieve a five-star rating. For every story that has tons of fans, there will be somebody who doesn't like it. And while you can recognize the quality of the stories, that doesn't mean they'll all work for you.

That said, this is an excellent collection of old and new stories from some of the biggest names in SF writing (and even non-SF, as Stephen King has a science fiction story here). Each issue of the magazine features an old story and a new one, so you will be reading some classics. Yet the editors don't go for the easy ones. I've read a lot of SF, and all but a couple of these stories were still new to me (one wasn't due to its inclusion in a "best of the year" anthology that I had already read). Most of these are excellent, too."
Yes, there are a few clunkers in here that did nothing for me, but the hit/miss ratio is so huge that it's well-worth getting.

I highly recommend this volume of stories (the non-fiction from the magazines has been removed so it's a book of just stories) if you want to catch up on some great science fiction.

And then subscribe as I recommended yesterday.

You know you want to.


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