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.
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