Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Locus Experiment concludes & Jeff Ford

The final decade covered by this great anthology has been reached. The final three stories in this volume were published and won their Locus Awards in the current decade, the 2000s

Border Guards by Greg Egan
I've only read one other piece of fiction by Egan, and as it turns out, I liked this one a lot more. This was an interesting look at science through the lens of what seemed to be sport. A good story here.

Hell is the Absence of God by Ted Chiang
Wow. This was an amazing, powerful story of faith and God. In this story, the appearance of Angels is almost commonplace, the world is much more attuned to the powers of Heaven and God. I was enthralled by this one and I've got to get myself a copy of Chiang's collection, Stories of Your Life and Others.

October in the Chair by Neil Gaiman
I had read this story a couple of years ago, probably in Hartwell's Years Best Fantasy 3. I liked it very much when I initially read it and I liked it a lot again. A great story about the personification of the months on the calendar and the power of Story.

On the whole, this was an excellent collection and a very good sampling of the genre over the past 30 years. Jonathan Strahan an experienced editor, and Charles N. Brown publisher of Locus, selected a pretty diverse sampling of stories for the volume. For the most part, even the stories that I didn't like as much as some others were at least interesting and worth considering, or perhaps revisiting in the future. The stories I thought the strongest were Martin's The Way of Cross and Dragon, Chiang's Hell is the Absence of God, Butler's Bloodchild, Murphy's Rachel in Love, and the best and most powerful overall, Jeffty is Five by Ellison. I thought the 1980s was the strongest decade/chapter in the book.

I also really liked the appendix listing ALL the past winners of the Locus Award, at least up until the publication of this book. I would strongly recommend this to people who enjoy short fiction or those who looking for a great introduction to the form.

Read Jeffrey Ford's blog, he is giving away a very touching personal story (or did with his September 27th posting). Also on Jeff's blog I found out about a new magazine, Fantasy, debuting in November from Prime Books. With stories from Mr. Ford, Jeff VanderMeer, Holly Phillips, and an interview with Jeff Ford, I've got to get a copy of this one.

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