George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois
Tor, 2010 (2010)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
, editor George R. R. Martin speaks of the
of his childhood, filled with paperbacks in all genres. Martin considers that '
genre walls are hardening
', which isn't good for either readers or writers. He feels that '
Books should broaden us, take us to places we have never been and show us things we've never seen, expand our horizons and our way of looking at the world. Limiting your reading to a single genre defeats that. It limits us, makes us smaller.
' Hear, hear!
artin introduces the
contributors as '
an all-star lineup of award-winning and bestselling writers, representing a dozen different publishers and as many genres.
' It is indeed a
collection, whose twenty authors include some of the biggest names around - in addition to Martin himself, we have great writers like Cecelia Holland, Robin Hobb, Tad Williams, Peter S. Beagle, Diana Gabaldon, James Rollins, David Weber, and David Morrell.
he anthology opens on my all-time favorite historical author Cecelia Holland, with a short story starring Corban Loosestrife's son Conn and nephew Raef (from her fantastical 10th century quintet that roams through Europe and across the Atlantic to Vinland. As always Raef has the impulsive Conn's back, as the latter leads them into trouble (allied with the Jomsvikings against Hakon, Jarl in Norway) and out again.
n Joe Haldeman's
, future soldiers operate
(similar in some ways to
), with unexpected consequences. In
, master fantasist Robin Hobb tells of the last service a Roman does for his friend, tortured and caged in the Carthaginian sun. Lawrence Block offers a noir account of a woman's revenge for childhood abuse in
. Tad Williams'
And Ministers of Grace
shows a far future fundamentalist reinventing himself. Joe R. Lansdale's engaging
is an old West saga in which an ex-slave learns to be '
a buffalo soldier and a good'n.
eter S. Beagle's
stars a ghostly avenger. In
The Custom of the Army
, Diana Gabaldon sends Lord John Grey to fight on the Heights of Abraham. In Naomi Novik's
Seven Years from Home
, a Confederacy agents sides with underdog colonists, who have suprising abilities of their own. Steven Saylor takes readers back to Carthage in
The Eagle and the Rabbit
(brutal Roman slavers ascendant this time.) James Rollins'
tells of the redemption of a horribly abused animal, brutally trained for dogfights.
ne of my favorites in this collection is David Weber's
Out of the Dark
, in which mythological creatures emerge to turn the tide when Earth is almost destroyed by aliens. Carrie Vaughn's
The Girls from Avenger
shines a bright light on American World War II Women Airforce Service Pilots. George R. R. Martin gives readers a dark 'Tale
of the Seven Kingdoms'
The Mystery Knight
. And there are more stories by S. M. Stirling, Howard Waldrop, Gardner Dozois, David Morrell, Robert Silverberg, and David Ball.
f you enjoy short stories, don't miss this excellent and eclectic
collection of fiction, with elements of history and mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and horror - and a common theme of
of all kinds.
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