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Stories. Edited by Al Sarrantonio, Neil Gaiman based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
This is a collection of 27 short stories by some very well known authors. Who would of thought that Gene Wolfe would be sharing book space with Joyce Carol Oates or Chuck Palahniuk with Jodi Picoult. The work page details all the contributors and so I'm not going to go through them all especially as most of them were only fair to middling in accordance with my taste. I'll just give a few details on my favourites from the collection.The stand-out story for me was Neil Gaiman's own, The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains which has a dwarf searching for a legendary cave of gold but he may have ulterior motives. The two closing stories were also very good. The Maiden Flight of McCauley¿s Bellerophon by Elizabeth Hand details an attempt to recreate a lost film of a pre-Wright Brothers flight as a tribute to a dying past love and The Devil on the Staircase by Joe Hill looks at the evil that man is capable of committing to get what he wants or to stop others from having it instead. The former of these is the longest story of the book while the latter employs different formatting to represent the stairs the main character traverses as he recounts his tale.I also enjoyed Human Intelligence by Kurt Andersen which tells of a visitor sent to spy on planet Earth who has seemingly been forgotten by those who sent him and the Arctic explorer who finally discovers his existence. Jeffrey Deaver's The Therapist and Lawrence Block's Catch and Release take a look at the dark side of humanity while Samantha's Diary by Diana Wynne Jones is a light-hearted take on the 12 days of Christmas. Meanwhile, Walter Mosely offers up a different kind of vampire tale with Juvenal Nyx.I'm surprised I didn't enjoy more of the inclusions considering there was hardly any of the authors that I hadn't at least heard of before and was somewhat disappointed by quite a few. I'm sure others will find different stories more to their taste than mine but I will be surprised if many enjoy all of this collection.
An anthology of short stories is by its very definition variable. Thus the stories in this aptly named volume vary in length and strength, and in style and genre. Of course, this means that if there isn't quite something here for everyone, there is certainly enough variation for most people to find something they like. As for myself, I found the stories herein all of high quality, found reading the entire volume through a pleasure, and enjoyed finding writers who I'd not read before, whose stories made me ask "what happened next?"