Anthology I: A Collection of 8 Science Fiction & Fantasy Stories

Publisher: The Novel Fox, LLC (March 15, 2015)

For decades, the outpouring of Sci Fi short stories has rivaled the number of tribbles devouring the grain designated for Sherman’s Planet. There are tons of books of award-winning collections and a plethora of magazines devoted to these stories.

Now, The Novel Fox, a digital-first publishing company, has joined the flood with the first of their projected Anthology collections. Why not? Reading their chosen eight debut yarns, I felt a bit like I was reading the latest issue of Azimov’s or Analog without these magazines’ editorials, commentaries, or articles on true science. Anthology is sci fi and fantasy and nothing but sci fi and fantasy with something for every lover of the many sub-genres contained in these umbrella categories.

Naturally, short stories don’t permit developing intergalactic turf wars or focusing on more than a few characters active in but a few scenes. Here, we meet eight tightly-woven protagonists coping with surprising new worlds. Perhaps the most inventive is Ernesto Pavan’s “A Wand’s Tale,” told from the point of view of a magic wand. Unquestionably, the creepiest is Peter White’s “Subsidence” which should remind readers of that relentless doll that tormented Karen Black in the classic Trilogy of Terror TV movie. The most obvious chapter drawn from a longer work is Shane Halbach’s ““Grant My Powder be Dry and My Aim Be True” with an unexplained beginning and an abrupt end.

Dominic Dulley, Gerri Leen, T.D. Edge, Roti Mehrotra, and Shawn Scarber also offer their perhaps more standard slices of straight-forward SF with everything from prematurely washed-out spaceship pilots to enhanced assassins. It’s easy to see why the editors at Novel Fox chose all these selections to inaugurate their new series. I, for one, look forward to future editions. There are some tribbles we can all use more of.