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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Featuring some of the biggest names in science fiction and fantasy, Elemental is an anthology of never-before-published stories gathered together for one heartfelt purpose: to help the children of southern Asia still recovering from the 2004 tsunami. With all proceeds going to Save the Children, this extraordinary collection (with an introduction by Arthur C. Clarke, who lives in Sri Lanka and witnessed the devastation firsthand) includes stories by Larry Niven, Joe Haldeman, William C. Dietz, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Brian Aldiss, and Jacqueline Carey, to name a few.
Noteworthy selections include a new Dune story by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson entitled "Sea Child;" Juliet Marillier's "Tough Love 3001," a homage of sorts to Neil Gaiman about a time-traveling creative writing instructor trying to teach a class full of aliens about genre fiction; and Niven's witty "The Solipsist at Dinner," in which he asks the age-old question: Is reality simply a figment of our imagination? Sean Williams and Shane Dix revisit Geodesica in "Night of the Dolls," where post-human Isaac Forge Deangelis gets in touch with his, well, wild side.
The anthology's afterword includes heartrending statistics from the tsunami: 170,125 people from 36 countries dead, 134,012 people still missing and presumed dead. More than one-third were children -- and those figures don't include the tens of thousands of kids who were injured and/or lost their homes or their families. Editor Savile sums it up perfectly: "In buying Elemental, you have gone a little way to helping rebuild these children's lives. It's a small step, but small steps can change the world." Paul Goat Allen