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Unparalleled Journeys, edited by Edward Knight Book Review | SFReader.com
Unparalleled Journeys, edited by Edward Knight Genre: Mixed Genre Anthology Publisher: Journey Books Published: 2005 Review Posted: 9/18/2006 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
Unparalleled Journeys, edited by Edward Knight
Book Review by David A. Olson
Have you read this book?
Unparalleled Journeys is an anthology I had high hopes for as its parent magazine strives to present "fresh voices with a Golden Age flare" In my experience such hopes are always dashed upon the rocks of disappointment. But not so with this anthology. Editors Edward Knight and David M. Fitzpatrick have chosen a strong collection of science fiction and fantasy stories that reached back to the days of old--when stories had ideas AND adventure--to make reading fun again.
"Janibots, Inc" by Terofil Alexander Gizelbach is, without a doubt, the best story in this collection. It's so strong in fact that it would be a shame if it does not receive an award. In this crazily entertaining piece, a scientist invents robots that force order onto the world. When things go too far, all of humanity is powerless to stop them until... Well, I don't want to ruin it for you, so I'll say no more. The strong narrative, a plot that kept me guessing, and fascinating characters make this story a real winner.
"Riding Out" the Legacy by Sandy Parsons is about a colony ship that leaves earth on the eve of its destruction. Before the colonists leave, they are given an unusual inoculation. Will they survive the journey? Fresh ideas, great voice, and palpable tension make this story a winner. I only wish it had been longer so that more loose ends could have been tied off.
"Freedom's Fire" by Bill Snodgrass, one of the editors of the Sword Review, is a typical sword and sorcery story--if by 'typical' one means excellent. It is about a young dwarf who has lived his entire life slaving for the dragons and dreams of freedom. A gripping tale from start to finish that I only wish were longer. It would have been a thrilling first chapter in a novel.
"White Ribbons, Red Roses" by David M. Fitzpatrick is a mystical science fiction tale about a man who kills his wife and daughter. He journeys to a forbidden planet in the hopes of finding peace from his nightmares. I love this story except for the ending, which felt a bit typical.
"Fidelity" by Angie Lofthouse is a science fiction story about people genetically designed to serve the king and the resistance movement that develops. I had a hard time getting into this story, as it started with a fight scene. The plot is fascinating until the end, which felt abrupt--it was as though a novel had been suddenly stopped at the end of the first chapter.
"Sparks' War" by Donnie Clemons, who has several books for sale by the Journey Books Publishing, is about a man who was once a rebel but is now just a trader. A bad trader. This tale has a very old and pulpy feel to it, like an E.E. "Doc" Smith story, and a certain innocence. With a character who always has the right tools, the fastest ship in the galaxy, and a space tow truck this story was a bit too comic bookish for me, although I can imagine other people relishing those elements.
"Sturoq of Dunhugel" by Peter J. Welmerink is a relatively standard sword and sorcery story. The hero's family is killed and he wants revenge. The parts where the hero talks to the dead are interesting. Don't get me wrong, the rest of the story isn't bad; it's just that they weren't things I hadn't seen a dozen times before.
I'd heartily recommend this anthology to anyone who loves the old way of telling stories with excitement and flair. Simply put there isn't a bad story in the bunch.
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