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Starlight 3 (Starlight (Tor Hardcover)) Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Series: Starlight (Tor Hardcover) (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (July 13, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312867808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312867805
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,279,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This third in Neilsen Hayden's series of original-story anthologies presents a pleasing range of SF and fantasy, humor and darkness, from an eclectic mix of 16 writers, both familiar and new, covering topics of interest to any SF fan who likes to keep current in the field. A few of the stories are particularly haunting, notably Susan Palwick's touching "Gestella," about a sensitive, intelligent werewolf whose husband/owner grows ever more distant. Madeleine E. Robins's excellent "La Vie en Ronde" explores the circular places behind our linear world as seen through the eyes of the protagonist, Vivey, who suffers from vertigo and is likely mad. The powerful, literate "The Sea Wind Offers Little Relief," by newcomer Alex Irvine, fruitfully combines musings on the nature of reading, epics and heroism and will appeal to academics in particular. Jane Yolen's series of set pieces, "The Barbarian and the Queen: Thirteen Views," offers surprising insights into the nature of, well, barbarians and queens (how about sword-toting exotic dancers and drag queens?). Humor and fantasy are also represented: Cory Doctorow's "Power Punctuation!" is a hilarious epistolary romp through the corporate world, while Andy Duncan's "Senator Bilbo," set in Middle-earth, describes a powerful hobbit's realization that the world has moved on without him. This is a clear snapshot of the SF genre at the turn of the millennium. The fine writing of many of the stories indicates that the genre is as vivid and alive at the beginning of the 21st century as it was in the 20th. (July 23)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

From Ted Chiang's wry meditation on life, death, and religion ("Hell Is the Absence of God") to Terry Bisson's caustic tale of cruel and unusual punishment ("The Old Rugged Cross"), the 16 tales in this collection of original short fiction cover a broad range of topics. Contributors include veteran sf and fantasy authors such as Steven Baxter, Jane Yolen, and Geoffrey A. Landis as well as newcomers such as Andy Duncan and Madeleine Robins. A good choice for most sf, fantasy, or short story collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Madeleine Robins has been, variously, an administrator, copywriter, actor, stage-combatant, comic-book editor, nanny, teacher, cake decorator, and repaired hurt books. An unregenerate city-dweller, she was born and raised in New York City, but has lived in London, Boston, and San Francisco. Her written work includes romance, fantasy, science fiction, a super-hero novel, historical fiction, alternate-history historical fiction, all of which permits her to indulge a passion for history, cities, and spare bits of otherwise useless information.

Robins is married with two daughters; they live in Northern California, with one high-strung dog and one eccentric lemon tree.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Horton on September 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The newest edition of Patrick Nielsen Hayden's original anthology series _Starlight_ is a pretty solid book, certainly not hurting the reputation of this series as one to rival _Orbit_ or _New Dimensions_ or _Universe_ in quality and consistency, but it's vaguely disappointing: I guess because while there are a whole lot of really good stories, there are no superb stories, nothing like say "Story of Your Life" from the second issue.
I'll mention some highlights. Ted Chiang is back, with "Hell is the Absence of God", a rather intriguing and deadpan look at a world much like our own in which the existence of Heaven and Hell are objectively proven: indeed, the souls in Hell can be seen, and in which angels occasionally come to Earth, typically causing a mixture of miraculous events and capricious disasters. The story focuses on an unpious man whose beloved wife is killed and ascends to Heaven in one such angelic visitation, and who tries to find a way to love God and thus reach Heaven to rejoin her, against all his instincts. My favorite piece might have been Maureen McHugh's "Interview: On Any Given Day", about a teenaged girl who becomes infected with a potentially cancerous agent after an odd affair with a rejuvenated older man -- the story not only describes a near future teenage milieu quite well, but it's particularly good at what it's really about, in kind of a sideways fashion: the affect of this rejuvenation technology on people, particularly the sad older man who has the affair with the main character. This was a very real-seeming story -- McHugh at close to her best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Scott on September 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Patrick Nielsen Hayden turns out another outstanding Starlight anthology. If only they could come out on a more regular basis. The Starlight series is the only significant original fiction anthology series on the market.
Starlight 3 follows up the first two Starlights admirably. The quality of fiction in the book is consistently high, occasionally achieving excellence.
The high point of the anthology for me was 'Senator Bilbo' by Andy Duncan. Duncan stumbled across a reference to an old Southern senator named Bilbo and turned it into a story about an old right-wing hobbit senator who wants to maintain the 'purity' of the Shire. Duncan does a great job of portraying a changing Middle Earth without comprising Tolkien's vision.
Other highlights include 'Wolves till the World Goes Down' by Greg van Eekhout, 'Hell Is the Absence of God' by Ted Chiang, 'Gestella' by Susan Palwick, and 'Power Punctuation!' by Cory Doctorow. This is not to say that the other stories in the collection are not fine stories as well. Every story in this collection is well-written and worth reading.
Many of the stories have a deeper goal beyond entertainment. Chiang's story ponders spirituality and ethics. Palwick's 'Gestella' is a sad love story between a human and a werewolf who ages at a rapid pace. Colin Greenland's 'Wings' is set in a world where angels are commonplace and humanity must reconcile itself to new truths.
Truly an excellent anthology. I look forward to a Starlight 4 and hope it's published in a timely manner!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ahmed A. Khan on March 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
Original anthologies of SF stories have become a rare thing these days. The Startlight series of anthologies is, therefore, more important than it would have been otherwise.

The 3rd volume in this series features an introduction, 16 stories and authors' bios. Most of the 16 stories are by famous names: Ted Chiang, Stephen Baxter, Terry Bisson, Geoffrey Landis, Jane Yolen, Cory Doctorow, D.G. Comptom, Colin Greenland.

Onward to the stories: The book starts off with Ted Chiang's "Hell is the Absence of God". Ted Chiang recently burst on the SF horizon. He has written only a handful of stories and novellas but almost every one of them has either won an award or has been nominated for one. His "Story of Your Life" is one of my favorites. The present story has an intriguing name and an intriguing premise. It depicts a world where the natural and supernatural go hand in hand. Heavenly visitations and miracles are taken for granted. The story is interesting up to the very end where it falls flat on its face leaving a bad taste in the mouth. Sorry, this is not a Chiang story that I like.

Out of the other stories, I liked (not exactly in the same order) "Sun Cloud" (Stephen Baxter), "Wolves Till the World Goes Down" (Greg van Eekhout), "La Vie en Ronde" (Madeleine E. Robins), "Power Punctuation" (Cory Doctorow), and "The Sea Wind Offers Little Relief" (Alex Irvine). Terry Bisson's story is good but it is neither SF nor fantasy. But the best among the lot is also the shortest: "The Secret Egg of the Clouds" by Geoffrey A. Landis. In less than 2000 words, Landis has delivered a tale full of the proverbial "sensawunda" as well as social significance. It is poetic and meaningful. It is beautiful.
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