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10 January 2015

Paperback, anthology – 23 stories, published BAEN April 2012.

This is excellent value for money. I received a book voucher and landed on Mighty Ape seeking a good book. I found this one and initially dallied over the choice. The theme is ‘power armor’ and I wasn’t sure what sort of stories I’d find. But then I saw the list of contributors and was hooked. I mean, Jack McDevitt, Simon Green, Mike Stackpole, Tanya Huff, the list went on and I surrendered and bought the anthology. I read it as soon as it arrived and sighed with satisfaction. I’d been right. Jack McDevitt’s story was great (it even had a cat as well as one of my favourites of his characters) Simon Green’s story reminded me of some of Andre’s work, Tanya Huff’s, You Do What You Do, was poignant, and…
I could go on but I won’t. What I can say is that I judge an anthology by how many stories in it there are, where I’d keep the anthology for that story alone. The usual count where an anthology is a ‘keeper’ is 3-5. Now and again particularly with Andre’s anthologies, the count was much higher, she understood that putting together an anthology is an art, not just dumping together a bunch of stories on a similar theme and with a sprinkling of known names. But in this editor I may perhaps have discovered another artist. In 23 stories I found 11 in that ‘keeper’ category, while all of the others were solid work, just not so much to my personal taste.. So sometime in the next few weeks when I have time, I’ll go on line and look up other anthologies John Joseph Adams has edited and buy a second, and if the count is as good in that one, a third, a fourth… but take a look at this one, you too may end up hooked on an editor who really does know what he’s doing.

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