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Book Probe: Epic, Filtered Future, Sword and Sorcery Anthology
Reviewed by Joe Crowe, © 2012

Format: Book
By:   Various artists
Review Date:   November 28, 2012

Book Probe finds new geek-related books, so you can spend your money more exuberantly. Links to buy are in the titles. Thank us later.

Filtered Future and other Dark Tales of Science Fiction and Horror by Brett Weiss

Everyone goes into an anthology expecting not all the stories to be good. It's true. It's not as big a deal if there are a smattering of writers. You can write off one or two writers and still consider it a good book.

But when it's all one guy, he's got to handle the whole load all by himself. It's all him in front of the classroom, with no help. He can't hide behind the other kids.

Brett Weiss tries that in in Filtered Future. It's all him. And it turns out pretty good.

"Washed in the Blood" has a stunning ending. "Wormboy" is about a guy with an awesomely gross superpower. "The Creation Proclamation" is a Galactus-level cosmic story.

All of them are differently fun. Rarely is an anthology, in total, a really pleasant experience. Maybe I'm not reading the right ones. But this one combines pop-culture knowledge and ownership of sci-fi and horror workmanship.

Epic edited by John Joseph Adams

When you're doing fantasy stories, you need to use the overused term "epic," because otherwise I will be disappointed. I need the book equivalent of a mega blockbuster. This anthology is all about all of that.

It's a mix of newer and established writers. You may have heard of Robin Hobb, Orson Scott Card, Michael Moorcock, Tad Williams, and George R.R. Martin. All of those folks are in this book. Moorcock's story includes my personal hero Elric, so that's a buy for me right there.

The book is more than 600 pages, or as Game of Thrones would call it, a chapter. Martin's short story here is about 120 pages.

Each story includes a sizable helping of world building, but it doesn't forget the guts of the characters, both inside and outside the bodies.

Corrupts Absolutely? edited by Lincoln Crisler

"When your paranormal power is ‘I run really fast’, being underwater sucks balls."

This one is a smattering of stories about people with powers, but it's not exactly a ringing recommendation for obtaining them. One is about a religious believer who can resurrect the dead. Another superpower involves poop.

The subtitle of this book is "Dark Metahuman Fiction," and the very first story is about 9/11. In other words, that subtitle is not just whistlin' Dixie.

Sword and Sorcery Anthology

If you have never read sword & sorcery, you make me sad. I am welling up with bitter tears even now. You need a sword and sorcery anthology. Luckily enough, here is Sword and Sorcery Anthology.

It's a greatest-hits collection crammed full of George R.R. Martin, Glen Cook, Poul Anderson, and Fritz Freaking Leiber, and it even has one of my favorite stories, "Tower of the Elephant" by Robert E. Dad-Gum Howard.

Buy this now. I'll wait right here.



 
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