Publishers Weekly Review

Publishers Weekly, April 14, 2003

Though known as an iconoclastic independent, Waldrop (Going Home Again) shows himself a capable team player, too, in this collection of eight collaborative stories. Most were written in the 1970s, when he and his co-authors were fledglings of the Texas SF-writing community, and their themes and approaches span the speculative spectrum impressively. "One Horse Town," with Leigh Kennedy, collapses fragmentary glimpses of the life of Homer, the Trojan War and a modern archeological dig into a haunting fantasy fueled by the imagery of war and death. "Men of Greywater Station," a joint venture with George R. R. Martin, is a tale of extraplanetary perils whose pulp pacing betrays the authors' mutual interest in comic books. "Sun's Up!," co-authored with astrophysicist A.A. Jackson IV, is a hard science exploration of AI. All the stories are notable for the meticulous detail of their imagined worlds, none more so than a trio of collaborations with Stephen Utley, including the title tale, a giddy exercise in steampunk "what if-fery" that extrapolates the impact airplanes might have had on the Civil War, and "Black as the Pit, from Pole to Pole," a kaleidoscopic meditation on creators and creation in which Frankenstein's monster adventures in hollow earth kingdoms distilled from the fiction of Poe, Verne, Lovecraft and Burroughs. Chummy intros and afterwords by all the writers make this volume an interesting study of the craft of collaboration as well as a fascinating fiction read.

Copyright © 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


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