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Starlight 1 Paperback – August 15, 1996

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Patrick Nielsen Hayden selected the stories for this World Fantasy award-winning anthology using only the evocation of a "sense of wonder" as a criterion for inclusion. These intriguing works represent a very broad range of speculation, from fantasy to science fiction to magical realism. Standouts include 1997 John W. Campbell Award nominee Andy Duncan's "Liza and the Crazy Water Man," Michael Swanwick's "The Dead," and John M. Ford's "Erase/Record/Play." Unclassifiable, high quality fiction--an auspicious beginning for a new anthology series.

From Publishers Weekly

This auspicious debut for a new SF anthology series edited by four-time Hugo Award finalist Hayden gathers some of the genre's finest talents in a themeless collection of never-before-published stories. Maureen F. McHugh's shocking and frighteningly believable story of a futuristic peace corps project is set on the long-lost Earth colony that will also form the background for her forthcoming novel, Mission Child. Robert Reed's brief tale of an alien invasion is crammed with enough savagery and surprise to mesmerize and satisfy the most jaded Independence Day fan, while Michael Swanwick offers a modern-day modest proposal for today's economic woes: Why not hire the dead? Hayden fulfills his introductory promise of presenting fiction that expands the limits of the genre: Susan Palwick's tale of personal redemption in a small Southern town is laconic, reflective and reassuring with just the tiniest tinge of the fantastic to justify inclusion; Martha Soukup's new version of a classic fairy tale delivers enchantment to any office's sleepy staff; and Jane Yolen reveals the extraterrestrial inspiration for one of Emily Dickinson's most famous poems. Unlike many other anthologies that try to impress by their bulk, this has only 12 stories. But each one is stellar, and together they show the fullest range of writing in the field.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Starlight (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (August 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312862156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312862152
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,032,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I approached this book with caution. There are many annual anthologies of science fiction or fantasy that now appear. Unfortunately, the mediocre quality of many of these anthologies makes one wonder about the state of speculative fiction. Starlight I doesn't fall into the trap of being a thematic collection. What Nielsen has done instead, is provide us with a breadth of very good work that isn't tied to any theme. These stories are here because they are flat out good. This is a wide ranging collection that cannot be defined as science fiction or fantasy. I am appreciative of Hayden because of the fresh new voices that appear here. Yet none of these stories by unknown writers tries to be something it isn't. They each share an understated committment to good writing and simple but substantive language. I highly recommend this anthology for readers of science fiction and fantasy, but especially for readers who might have shied away from a science fiction or fantasy themed anthology because of preconceptions of ridiculous space wars or sword and sorcery images. This is exceptional reading and one that should have a wide audience.
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Format: Paperback
Two Hugo nominees out of twelve stories is not a bad percentagefor anoriginal anthology, and this anthology undoubtedly contributed to Nielsen Hayden's own Hugo nomination as Best Professional Editor. Plus it's not a theme anthology. This is not "Science Fiction Stories Set in the Interior of Stars" or "Fantasy Stories About Light." It's just good science fiction and fantasy, and a very auspicious start for the series. I won't list every story, but I will recommend that you go out and get this book and discover them for yourself. I'm looking forward to the second volume.
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Format: Paperback
Patrick Nielsen Hayden has selected a hugely entertaining collection of original short stories, impressive in their scope and the quality of their writing. If you like well-written literary science fiction and fantasy, this is the book to buy.
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Format: Paperback
It's particularly disappointing when editors touting themselves as experts can't be reliable sources for much more than safe picks. SF should be cutting edge. A little vision and originality would have saved it, and maybe 30 years ago it would've been less dull.
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