ecbatan (ecbatan) wrote,

Summary: Anthologies mostly devoted to newer writers, 2007

10. From Newer Writers

These books were mostly somewhat obscurely published (with the exception of the Writers of the Future book), and seemed to be almost exclusively focussed on new writers, either by design or happenstance. (With a couple of mild exceptions: Tim Pratt, for examples, shows up in one of these books.)

Writers of the Future, Volume XXIII, edited by Algis Budrys;
Triangulation: End of Time, edited by Pete Butler;
Unparalleled Journeys II, edited by Edward Knight and David M. Fitzgerald;
Tales from the Secret City, edited by Cryptopolis.

Subtotals: 4 books, 53 stories (14 novelettes, 39 short stories (5 short-shorts)), about 290,000 words of new fiction. (There were a couple of reprints.)

Stats: 12 stories by women (23%), 49 SF stories (92%).

With the exception of the Writers of the Future book, I'm not sure any of these books are explicitly focussed on newer writers, but it worked out that way. Tales from the Secret City, for example, is a product of an Austin-based writers' group, Cryptopolis, and the best known writer included is Patrice Sarath. Triangulation: End of Time is different, and on reflection I might have done better putting it in the Theme Anthologies from Smaller Publishers category. Still, while quite a few of the writers included have been around for a while (Pratt, Matthew Johnson, Ian Creasey, Trent Walters, a few more), none of them are super well-established (save perhaps Pratt). Unparalleled Journeys II, as it happens, features no writers whose names I recognized, which to me means they're new. So there you have it.

Volume XXIII was the first Writers of the Future book I read, and I was quite pleased. The stories were quite good throughout, if never quite great -- almost fitting perfectly a template like "Promising and energetic work by new writers who will get even better". My favorites were Stephen Kotowych’s "Saturn in G Minor", in which a great composer wants his final piece to be played using Saturn’s rings as the instrument; Andrea Kail's "The Sun God at Dawn, Rising from a Lotus Blossom", presented as a series of letters from a recreated Tutankhamen to a similarly recreated Abraham Lincoln; and Tony Pi's "The Stone Cipher", about statues all around the world beginning to move, very slowly -- in the end delivering an ecological message.

Triangulation: End of Time, wasn't as satisfying, but there were good stories from Matthew Johnson ("When We Have Time", about using time travel/parallel worlds to deal with raising children), Tim Pratt ("Morris and the Machine", about a hapless inventor and his problems with his wife), and Jetse de Vries ("Near Absolute Zero", about deciphering a scary message found in space). Plus some nice stuff from Rebecca Day, Terry Hayman, and Katherine Shaw.

Tales from the Secret City had one story I thought really nice, Matthew Bey's "Race to the Noonie", very odd stuff (think Barrington Bayley, perhaps, and a touch of David Masson), about an expedition from a sort of Fairy Kingdom to the edge of the world. And there was good stuff from Fred Stanton, Sharon Casteel, and Stina Leicht.

And finally Unparelleled Journeys II advertises itself as "written with a Golden Age flare", and indeed the stories seemed a bit old-fashioned in style and content both. Which wasn't necessarily a good thing -- the book didn't impress me much. The best stories came from Brian C. Petroziello, Michael Ehart, Robert Orme, and Alexander Zelenyj.


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