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Monday, March 2, 2009

Eclipse One

Eclipse One edited by Jonathan Strahan
Reason for Reading: Sci fi experience
Rating: 2/5

The best part and the worst part of any short story collection is the variety. If a story doesn't catch your fancy on the first try, turn the page and perhaps the next one will. Rarely do I read a collection, though, where my reaction to almost every story is: "You call this science fiction/fantasy?"

My knowledge of contemporary science fiction is abominably lacking, so perhaps I am just out of the loop on what style of story is in fashion right now. But still, I had to really stretch it to consider some of these stories scifi/fantasy. The Last and Only or, Mr. Moscowitz Becomes French is about a man who inexplicably and involuntarily changes nationalities. It had the feel of a story that was some sort of large metaphor for somethingy or another, but I just didn't get it. Unique Chicken goes in Reverse about a possibly mentally disturbed child and the pet chicken she calls Jesus was really meh for me.

A few of the stories were definitely scifi/fantasy, but they just didn't hold my attention. If it takes me too long to get into the concept of a story, I'm not likely to enjoy it much, and there were a few that just took too long to get warmed up.

However. There were a few stories I genuinely enjoyed. The Transformation of Targ about a evil overlord who's lost his evil mojo and tries a visit to a evil consultant to get it back was absolutely fabulous. I laughed, I cried. Okay, I laughed until I cried. Because it was perfectly written. I also found myself thrilled by the hypnotic Larissa Miusov, which seemed to fit into the category of "this is scifi?" until I got further into it. But by the time I got to that point, I was already in love with the writing, so I didn't mind. Another excellent story that manages to hint at a well-developed fantasy world without forcing the reader into a lengthy introduction is Quartermaster Returns.

Should I read it? Do you have an itch for short stories? Go for it.

3 comments:

violetcrush said...

I am not too much into short stories, but I do read one ocassionally. Talking of science fiction you've got to read this story, The fluted girl, if you haven't. It's great and definetely science fiction :)

Chris said...

Short story collections that are anthologies tend to bug me...I can never get into them really and I don't think I've ever given one a rating over a 3. It's different if it's a collection of one author, but these anthologies tend to just not work for me. I think I'll try this one some day though...I'm just not in a rush for it :p

Debi said...

I have this one, and in fact, just got Eclipse Two, but haven't read either yet. I'm sorry it didn't do much for you, Kim. :(

Oh, and I definitely second Violetcrush's recommendation of The Fluted Girl, if you haven't already read it. I LOVE that story!