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1: The Best of Abyss & Apex Volume One Paperback – April 22, 2009
There’s a little of everything in this prose and verse collection, from a story in which explorers discover intelligent life that turns out to be the weather to a time-travel wiki in which new participants neglect to pay attention to one key detail, over and over again. And although big-name contributors are few (do relative newcomers Jay Lake and Tim Pratt count as such yet?), the quality of the contents is consistently extraordinary. They’re the likes of Lisa Mantchev’s “Interfaith,” a touching story about a child whose parents belong to two rather different cultures and the problems of a goddess raising a god’s daughter; Jason L. Corner’s “The Knife,” in which humans must learn to live with an alien culture and some difficult rites of passage; and Justin Stanchfield’s “God’s Guitar,” in which an angel appears with a message about a particular pawnshop item. Even the shortest pieces—and some of those are haiku—excellently exemplify the sense of wonder that’s key to speculative fiction. --Regina Schroeder
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