- File Size: 4149 KB
- Print Length: 351 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Astral Books (August 22, 2016)
- Publication Date: August 22, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01KVPG7E6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,629 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Beyond the Stars: At Galaxy's Edge: a space opera anthology Kindle Edition
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There are two successor anthologies to that collection - Beyond The Stars: A Planet Too Far (lined up on my Kindle for future) and this one, At Galaxy's Edge, which puts the focus squarely on space opera.
One notable difference from the off is that previous collection was an all-woman anthology, bar editor David Greenwood, whereas this collection is a mix of men and women, each spinning their story universes.
This collection has a heady brew of tales too - straight out of the gate we have a tale that author of A Boy And His Dog, Harlan Ellison, would approve of, though this time about a marine and his modified K9 unit. The pair are assigned to investigate a terraforming project gone wrong. It seems routine, it seems like little more than an excuse for the dog to frolic among the new green - but they're very wrong, as things take a turn for the worse. The Good Food is by Michael Ezell, and I really like his style - he'll definitely go on the list for authors to keep an eye on.
That set the tone nicely for a good selection of tales. David Bruns' The Epsilon Directive is very much a story asking where you draw the line in following orders, and where personal choice has to come to the fore. Chris Fox conjures up a fun expedition into space archaeology with the added threat of arms being pulled off.
There are a couple of disappointments in here - I found Just An Old-Fashioned Lust Story by Christopher J Valin to strain the suspension of disbelief with its tale of bounty hunters killing one another under the manipulation of a three-breasted beauty, while Piers Platt's Last Pursuit was going just fine until it ended all too soon.
There were three real stars in the collection for me, though - Adam Quinn's Procurement packs so much world building into its short tale of an emergency service for the stars struggling through the perils of bureaucracy that it feels like a whole movie packed into its length. Brilliant.
Nick Webb's Second Place could sit down and share a beer with the stories of Ray Bradbury, as it captures the home-spun drama of the second man to set foot on Mars, who hopes to become the first man to die there. The character work is fantastic, and it just feels like a wonderful, comfortable walk alongside the story's protagonist, as he sets about a landmark few would want to achieve.
But perhaps the story I salute the most is Anthea Sharp's One More Star, Shining. Inspired by the real world horrors of the Pulse shooting in Florida, she creates a universe of miners and those trying to outrun their dreams, all caught up in a moment of horror when an attack shatters the mining community. What makes the story so worthwhile is how it attempts to approach such horror, and examine the ways in which people deal with it. There is the horror of hope as you wish the pain would visit someone else, someone you don't know. There is the aftermath, and the attempt to understand how you can go on, and what is important. And for that, crafted in a short tale in the stars, Anthea Sharp deserves much credit.
Overall, the collection doesn't feel quite as strong as Dark Beyond The Stars - but that was a high bar to set, and it's not far behind. Series editor Patrice Fitzgerald is to be commended.
My second favorite story in this anthology is "The Quarium wars" by E.E. Giorgi, granted Giorgi has been on my list of favorite authors for awhile and she doesn't disappoint. As always her descriptions are eloquent and draw you into the story so that you feel that you are inside the tale. As I was reading the story, I began to wonder if I would be the only who saw parallels to real world happenings. I immediately felt a tie-in to the current issues with the Zika virus on a different scale. My husband read the story and without my saying a word he asked if I felt that the story could be based on mosquitoes and the current epidemic the world faces with the Zika virus. We are both greatly looking forward to the upcoming books in this new series.
"Re/Genesis" by G.S. Jennsen, her character Eren is one you will only want to know more about. The idea of a species that dies and regenerates holds a great deal of promise for development and story lines that can only grab your imagination and run away with it. More please!!
"Second Place" by Nick Webb I could back and read many times. Living your life always knowing that you aren't known as the "first" but will forever be in another's shadow is what drives many of us to make our mark. Frank Bickham goes to great lengths to achieve a lever recognition that will put him as 'numero uno" and the paces that the author puts Frank through make you chuckle (if you love yourself some irony). Just how far will one person go to come out on top?
"Procurement" by Adam Quinn will leave wanting to know how long you have to wait for the books to come out and satisfy your desire to re-enter this world again and discover more about the characters. I chuckled many times. Quinn is another author whose excellent use of descriptors suck you in, flipping through the pages only to discover yourself sad because the story has ended. The first book in this series has now been added to my Kindle, thank goodness.
"One More Star, Shining" by Anthea Sharp was poignant and made me cry in a good way. It personalized our current events, terror attacks, in a way that other stories have not. I found myself becoming invested in Liza's life and story. I didn't feel as though I was reading fiction but experiencing an intimate time in a real life, not just a character in a story.
You won't be sorry reading any of the stories contained within this anthology. The ones I discussed were just my personal favorites. Read this and prepare to spend the curled up with it, looking up at the end to realize the day has passed you by. A great day to me.