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Posted June 14, 2013
Before I get to my review, I want to offer a friendly public service message to those who are fortunate enough to be reading and voting on the various genre awards. Go ahead and pencil in Fearsome Journeys as this year's winner for best anthology, and Jonathan Strahan as winner for best editor. That's right, find your nomination form, jot the title down, put a huge asterisk beside it as the likely winner, and focus your reading efforts on those categories yet be decided.
Okay, so maybe I am being a bit facetious, but it really is that good!
Short story collections are problematic for me. On the one hand, I like being able to sample authors in small doses, and to get a feel for their work, or to simply pay a brief visit with old favorites, no strings (or subsequent volumes) attached. On the other hand, I find them wildly uneven in terms of content and quality, with the weakest entries unfairly dragging down my overall impression of the collection as a whole.
Much to my delight, Fearsome Journeys has proven to be the rare exception to that rule. There were a few stories here that didn't completely wow me, but I can honestly say I still enjoyed them all. While those few suffer by comparison against their companions here, they likely would have come across as some of the better entries in a different collection. There are several authors here who have just shot to the top of my TBR pile, based on the strength of their contributions, and a few others who've absolutely demanded I immediately rectify their absence from that same pile.
For those of you who are curious, it's Lynch, Elliott, and Bear who are the three authors who've made the most significant climbs in my TBR pile, and Ahmed and Canavan who have won themselves a place. Overall, however, this just a great collection of tales, well-selected and well put together by a man who has an obvious feel for the genre. I cannot recommend Fearsome Journeys highly enough.