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★★★★★ "The best place to discover new SF authors, I think, is any of the anthologies coming from Samuel Peralta" -- Hugh Howey, NY Times bestselling author of Wool
★★★★★ "A powerful new voice in speculative fiction" --Nick Webb, USA Today bestselling author of the Legacy Fleet trilogy
About the Author
Created by Samuel Peralta - series editor and a Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy notable author in his own right - The Future Chronicles is the #1 bestselling anthology series that brings together work from visionary new voices and from the grandmasters of modern speculative fiction.
Its unique take on major science fiction and fantasy themes - A.I., time travel, dragons, robots, aliens, zombies, immortality, galactic battles, cyborgs, doomsday - has made it one of the most acclaimed anthology series of the digital era.
Chris Pourteau and Samuel Peralta have put together another excellent science-fiction anthology -- this one a follow-up to Pourteau's amazing 2015 release, Tails of the Apocalypse. Thirteen authors have each created a gem with characters or situations from their previously released series. I've read works from many but not all of these authors, so I was able to both go back and enjoy new stories from "places" and characters I know, and also be exposed to new (for me) word artists.
Some of the stories are written from the point of view of an animal; some are written third-person with a focus on the animal, and still others have a human POV but the 'stars' of the story are the animal partners. Like "Tails of the Apocalypse", many of the stories come with high emotion -- often pathos -- to be expected from the dystopian focus, but there are uplifting moments nonetheless. The anthology opens with strength -- Harlow C. Fallon's "The Ones Who Walk Beside You" will get you started properly with Joe, his unusual gift and his friends the wolf and the horse; you won't want to stop reading after that. John L. Monk's "Monkey Do", starring Max the chimp, illustrates what can happen when all the human adults have died, but there remains a well-trained animal with dignity and dedication. Rysa Walker's dog Daphne has to sort out the incredibly confusing conflicting timelines and help save her pack from "The Circle-That-Whines". Ann Christy's "The Last Pride" shows that there are places in the animal kingdom for her PePrs as they help keep endangered species alive while fitting in. Jennifer Ellis' "Cry Wolf" shows how it is not only humans who see conflict in following orders while trying to do the right thing. Justin Sloan's "The Last Bobcat" is better than the humans he helps survive. Daniel Arthur Smith's "Eggby" lives for his master's treats, but has to avoid becoming one himself. Robert Calas' "The Weight of Hunger" is the darkest of the selections, IMHO; the kestrel falcon Eglantine must survive while not becoming one of "them". David Adams' "Khan" shows how a white tiger can fight for freedom even on another planet. Cheri Lasota's beautiful "Planetfall" reveals how a little dog makes a big difference on New Eden. E. E. Giorgi's Destiny and her pet weasel find the mysterious object that can change everything in "Octant VI". Hank Garner's young autistic Jackson looks for his folks and dog as the world is shaken beyond belief, but he has the help of a mysterious stranger because "He Knows the Way Home." Finally, David Bruns' "The Water Finder's Apprentice" finds more than water but needs the help of his canine sidekick to prevail.
I received an advance copy for an honest review, but I bought a copy to support the book.
Fantastic anthology! Every single story is splendid. Rarely do I come across a collection of short stories that are so consistently good.
John L. Monk is a newcomer to the Chronicles series, but he's a long-time favorite of mine, beginning with "Kick," which evolved into the Jenkins trilogy. Food was one of the great hooks in the Dan Jenkins tales, and food is even more critical in "Monkey Do (a This Dark Age story). Narrating from the point of view of Max the chimp, Monk captures the voice with authenticity and great comic effect. Darkly comic, of course. I thought The Jenkins cycle had a dark side, but Monk's second trilogy is set world where all the adults die of a mysterious new disease, leaving the children to take over the world on a scale that makes "Lord of the Flies" look like child's play.
I can't help but love Max and his mission to feed all the animals Farmer Ray left in his care. When a boy and girl discover the farm--free food for the taking!--Max must find a way to thwart them. His progression from mild Max to avenger and defender has me thinking this would be great as a graphic novel. Ever consider turning this into a comic book, Mr. Monk?
E.E. Giorgi never fails to delight and intrigue me. A strong heroine has a close bond with her brother and an animal companion and a tendency to venture outside the boundaries set for her. All authors have a recurring theme, and this one will never grow old. I can't begin to emphasize how much I love it. "Octant VI" is the third short story set in the world of The Quarium Wars. A tween girl, Destiny, and her ferret, Duyi, scavenge a ruined planet (what better place for refugees and war orphans to hide?). What they find in the scrap heap one day changes everything. There's a scene as epic as Dorothy, Toto, and the hot air balloon in Wizard of Oz, but I will leave the details for readers to discover and savor. Just... EPIC!
"The Last Pride (a Perfect Partners story)" is another winner from Ann Christy. I love the PePr universe in all her stories, but this one comes with a bonus: a PePr who's a lion. (How I love lions!)
Jennifer Ellis stole my heart with a cat named Santiago in the first Tails anthology. This time, a border collie named Emmett does what instinct tells him to do, and ultimately, he saves the day, but boy, does he have to work hard to prove himself.
I have good things to say about every tale in Tails of Dystopia, but I need to get this review posted asap, so I'm going to stop here and come back later with comments on the rest of this splendid anthology. Samuel Peralta and Chris Pourteau hand-pick authors from the hundreds of books they read every year, and their judgment is like the iconic Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Trust them. They choose only the best.
p.s. I'll focus on the sci-fi stories when I review this for Perihelion Science Fiction.
This collection is diverse and sure to please and animal loving fan of the dystopian genre.The standouts to me were The Water Finders Apprentice by David Bruns.It is incredible and I hope he continues writing about these characters.The Ones Who Walk Beside You by Harlan C Fallon was intriguing and made me curious about the world and characters she created.Planetfall by Cheri Lasota was enjoyable and showed the power of love.Octant VI by E.E. Giorgi was enjoyable and left me wanting to know more about the characters future.I received an ARC from the authors for an unbiased reveiw,but I also purchased a copy to support such a worthy cause.
I love all the Chronicle Worlds books edited by Samuel Peralta. I have read all the Chronicle Worlds books and dog-eared the pages if that is possible on a Kindle edition. That being said, this collection of pets and science fiction is outstanding. Being an animal lover, I did not hesitate to purchase this book. As a bonus, the proceeds of the book sales go to the pets for vets project. I loved "Cry Wolf" by Jennifer Ellis, "The Last Pride" by Ann Christy (I loved that the story was set in the Perfect Partners Universe!), and "PlanetFall" (I loved that the story was set in the Paradisi Universe!) by Cheri Lasota. I highly recommend this collection to anyone who loves animals and science fiction.