Time travel, parallel universes, zombies, magic.

In the deepest, darkest, meanest corners of your hearts, all humans want that. You watch disaster from a distance and if someone dies, so much the better. You can whisper to yourself, “Thank God that wasn’t me.”

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Stories that encompass every possible aspect of science fiction and fantasy, emphasizing the complex nature of characters over the vehicle through which their stories are told.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Short stories are a hugely exciting way to encounter wildly different directions in fiction in a small timeframe. That, and reading some of Ball’s work in other anthologies (Writers of the Future, Analog) made her own anthology a must-have.

Rating (4 stars)

The characters in each story are richly developed and, despite the short length of each, inhabit well-defined and compelling worlds of their owns.
The only downside here is that the stories are so short and leave readers wanting much more; some of the stories are accurately flagged as “flash fiction” and just don’t give readers enough time to invest in the characters involved.