The twenty seventh book of the year is the Tsunami Relief Anthology, Elemental, edited by Steven Savile and Alethea Kontis, with stories from Brian Aldiss, Jacqueline Carey, Martha Wells, Larry Niven, and many others.
Elemental: The Tsunami Relief Anthology : Stories of Science Fiction and Fantasy
All of the proceeeds from the book from this book of original stories is going to the Save the Children Foundation, earmarked for Asia Tsumani Relief. Of course, aside from it being a good deed, the question is, how are the stories in the book?
As usual for most anthologies that I’ve read, its a mixed bag. Its complicated by the fact that there is no real theme to the anthology. Stories have a wide range in tone, style, and their particular sub-niches of the SF/F genres. And I admit that some stories held my interest more than others.
Highlights for me that I particularly enjoyed:
David Gerrold’s story of a disaster of epic traffic proportions, “Report from the Near Future: Crystallization.” reminded me fondly of an old story published in Omni Magazine “The Great Moveway Jam”. “Expedition, with Recipes” by Joe Haldeman was a short dark piece of a post-apocalyptic future. I really enjoyed Eric Nylund’s “Butterflies like Jewels.” He’s not written much lately (and that has all been novelizations), this showed that his talent and skill in writing Dry Water and A Game of Universe was not a fluke. I wish he’d have an audience to do more fantasy novels. One of the reasons why I bought the anthology (aside from doing a good dead), Martha Wells “The Potter’s Daughter” is a story of Kade Carrion, a half-Fae daughter of the King in her first Ile-Rien novel, Element of Fire. The Potter’s Daughter clearly takes place not that long before the events of that novel.
Other stories were all right but not memorable, and a couple of stories weren’t my cup of tea, and I skipped completely. OTOH, I can see, with my diverse friends, that their opinions on those stories and the ones I mentioned above might be completely different.
It’s not an *Essential* anthology, IMO, but it was an enjoyable one, and it is a for a good cause.