The Gumpism "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get" is a more than fitting description for a depressingly large number of science fiction/fantasy anthologies. Readers are forced to digest bite-sized morsels of uninspiring fruitcake before they can get to the double chocolate strawberry truffles. The 2007 edition of the Nebula Awards Showcase is, like its predecessors, completely fruitcake-free and packed with only the finest annual science fiction and fantasy confections.
One of the anthology's most memorable works is Kelly Link's Nebula Awardwinning novelette "The Faery Handbag," a powerfully moving story about a teenager named Genevieve and her eccentric grandmother. One of the most unusual things about Genevieve's grandma is her big black purse: The hairy handbag made of dog skin is supposedly the space-bending sanctuary for an entire village of refugees. When her grandmother finally passes, Genevieve loses the magical purse -- and other unforeseen valuables as well. Other noteworthy selections include "Still Life with Boobs" by Anne Harris, a truly twisted chronicle of a woman's struggle to become one with her wayward mammaries; and an excerpt from Joe Haldeman's Nebula Awardwinning novel Camouflage, a sci-fi thriller about two immortal aliens wandering the Earth in search of the ultimate knowledge. Additionally, insightful genre-related commentary from luminaries like Ben Bova, Ellen Datlow, Bill Fawcett, Martin H. Greenberg, Lou Anders, and Jack McDevitt make this collection a delectable sampler of the very best of what science fiction and fantasy has to offer. Paul Goat Allen