SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 546 Port Nowhere, edited by Charlotte Babb Book Review |

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Port Nowhere, edited by Charlotte Babb
Genre: Science Fiction Anthology
Publisher: Mystic Toad
Published: 2004
Review Posted: 3/3/2005
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 10 out of 10

Port Nowhere, edited by Charlotte Babb

Book Review by Paul Goat Allen

Have you read this book?

Port Nowhere, a shared-world anthology set on a remote space station carved from a planetoid, is like a science fiction version of Thieves' World, the popular fantasy realm created by Lynn Abbey and Robert Lynn Asprin in the late 1970s that has spawned dozens of anthologies, novels and role-playing games. Inhabited by a misfit cast of extraterrestrial con artists, criminals, outcasts and celebrities, Port Nowhere (aka the Rock) is indeed the Dive at the End of the Universe. The 25 stories included -- written by eight authors: Charlotte Babb, Elaine Corvidae, Jim Johnson, K.G. McAbee, Richard C. Meehan, Jr., Diane Thompson, Steve Thompson and Christopher T. Wilkerson -- feature the likes of Simikus Giff, an enterprising Nicovan working in the Rock's sewage treatment plant; Jule Emyril, a brave chef looking to learn the nuances of Port Nowhere's only export ka'frindi (a food additive renowned for its flavor enhancing and endorphin releasing qualities -- and its usage as a psychoactive drug!); and Shaa'zreen Glowberreez, the Rock's most famous talk show host, who'll do anything to remain at the top of the heap.

Noteworthy stories include Meehan, Jr.'s "Never Err With One's Air," a clever tale about a savvy envirosuit salesman who could sell sunglasses to the blind -- or more appropriately, skin cancer protection to those with scales; "Simikus Giff" by Johnson, a delectably dastardly story about the aforementioned sewage treatment worker who, upon realizing that the slimy film he has been cleaning from the sludge tanks is actually an invaluable fungus, concocts a murderous plot to gain him fortune -- and freedom; and "Waking Up With Sha'zreen," also by Johnson, which features the beautiful vidstar with the "trademarked bazoombas" and her even bigger ego.

With the grittiness of recent novels like George Zebrowski's Brute Orbits and Adam Connell's Counterfeit Kings, the nonstop action and adventure of Simon R. Green's Deathstalker saga, and the irreverent humor of a Terry Pratchett Discworld tale, this campy anthology is enthralling, exhilarating, witty -- and utterly readable.

Paul Goat Allen is the editor of Barnes & Noble's Explorations science fiction/fantasy book review and is the author of Burning Sticks, Old Winding Way and Warlock Dreams.
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