Book Reviews 2006 #38-#39

Two more books onto the review pile.
This time we have an anthology, The World Turned Upside Down, edited by David Drake, Eric Flint and (the late) Jim Baen
and we have
Hallowed Hunt, by Lois McMaster Bujold.

The World Turned Upside Down,edited by David Drake, Eric Flint and (the late) Jim Baen
With an anthology title like the World Turned Upside Down, you might expect the anthology to be about paradigm-busting stories, or stories where severe reversals occur. Instead, TWTUD is a beast of a different sort, a retrospective anthology of old-time SF stories that were seminal in the lives of the three editors.
So it is an idiosyncratic and very personal anthology. It doesn’t pretend to be definitive, but instead gives a look into what the three anthologists read when they were young. What’s here? A fair amount of clunkers, stories that have not aged well and are apparently there for the anthologists sentimental value. On the other hand, there are real gems here, classics of the genre that every serious SF fan should read: Tom Godwin’s The Cold Equations. Liane the Wanderer (Dying Earth) by Jack Vance. The Menace from Earth by Heinlein. The Last Question by Asimov, and others. I like having some of these stories at hand, some of which I’ve read but not had in my possession. So I, personally am satisfied with the anthology, even with the clunkers.

The Hallowed Hunt (Chalion, Book 3) by Lois M Bujold
Hallowed Hunt is the third and possibly the last in her Chalion novels, although it does not share any geography or any characters with the much more interconnected first two novels. Instead we get the story of Ingrey kin Wolfcliff, an enforcer for a lord who has an unusual spiritual affliction, who finds that a possible murderess has a very similar one.
Dealings with the five gods, sorcerers, an ancient curse and politics and intrigue make for an interesting mix. The book is a little slower to start than the first two, especially since we are dropped into a part of the Chalion world readers are completely unfamiliar with, and the story takes some time to get going. On the other hand, when it does get moving, things move along nicely and the novel avoids the fat fantasy syndrome so common to other authors and novel series. While I don’t think its quite as good as Curse of Chalion or Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt will not disappoint Bujold fans.