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Breaking Windows: A Fantastic Metropolis Sampler Paperback – May 1, 2003
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This book isn't just an anthology; it's a celebration of authors, publishers, creators and supporters of a popular genre, advice, information, and imagination.
The non-fictional tributes are geared toward authors vastly unsung in today's business-orientated publishing houses. True masters of written word, these writers wound out not being generic enough for the tedium of cash hungry editors. Some authors, such as Mieville, get a chance to tout their beliefs rather than their fiction. A major reason I review many obscure books is an effort to unlock this treasure chest of literary genius compared to monetary complacency. 'Writing Rules I Like To Break' by Carol Emshwiller is particularly enlightening for the budding writer bogged down by perpetual rules.
The interviews are fantastic and informative discussions with Jeff VanderMeer (as the interviewer) with Dan Pearlman, Michael Moorcock (as the interviewer) with Barrington J. Bayley, and Paul Witcover (as the interviewer) with Tony Daniel.
The fiction is astounding. Stories include:
1) (All That Happens)Before The Epilogue by Andrew Fuller
2) Captain's Library by Zoran Zivkovic
3) Cogitor, Ergo Sum by Dan Pearlman
4) Dr. North's Wound by John Dodds
5) Gauntlet Of Gorgons by Rhys Hughes
6) Horrors By Waters by Jeffrey Ford
7) Lottery by Colin Brush
8) Love In Backspace by Barrington J. Bailey
9) Pandora's Bust by Rachel Pollack
10) Self Portraits by Aleksandar Gatalica
11) She Found Heaven by Nathan Ballingrud
12) Still Memories by Luis Filipe Silva
13) The Test by Joao Barreiros
Some of the stories are vague, some trippy (like the lovecraftian 'Dr. North's Wound'), some eclectic, and some even humorous (like 'Love In Backspace' where pilots use their hinders to steer through Backspace). One story is an excerpt of a larger piece ('Captain's Library'), and three are Flash Fiction ('Horror By Waters' (one singular, long sentence), 'Self Portraits', and 'Still Memories').
My favorites were 'Lottery', 'She Found Heaven', and 'The Test'. This collection from the FantasticMetropolis website holds something for everybody. If you like non-traditional SciFi/Fantasy or an interesting article related to the genre, then don't miss out on this treasure. Enjoy!
The book is made up of four sections but only one of them is actual stories. The others are Essays, Interview, and Intros. I found most of the stories to be (at the least) interesting and different, but he rest of the book (about 100 of the 245 pages) to be fill. Michael Moorcock's piece about Mervyn Peake reads like a child's complaint that no one under- stands the talent of his idol; it reads more like a whine that a paen.
But, you make up your own mind.
Read Moorcock's editorial, which is sort of a second introduction after Luís' exploration of the city in speculative fiction and the genesis of the site, to get a sense of what Fantastic Metropolis is all about. There's no manifesto, just a committment to creativity, diversity, and originality. Luís did an excellent job culling the best of the best from the site, and keeping the reading interesting with essays, interviews, lists, and of course fiction. And the book even *looks* good.