Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Books read in 2011: No. 38 - While the Morning Stars Sing

While the Morning Stars Sing: An Anthology of Spiritually Infused Speculative Fictionedited by Lyndon Perry

Started: August 10
Finished: August 28

Notes: Sometimes when I'm in the middle of reading a very long novel, I also like to read a collection of short stories so as to break things up a little. To that end, I'm glad this anthology was brought to my attention. Not only does it contain stories from a few familiar names, including some friends, but it's also a collection of "Spiritually infused speculative fiction," as the subtitle says, and I find that interesting. So this anthology was brought to my attention at just the right time. Also, isn't that a nice cover? It's titled "Transcendence," and the artist is Lance Red.

Mini review: One of the things I truly love about this anthology was the diversity. All of the speculative genres are covered here, from fantasy to science fiction and horror, as well as several sub-genres of fantasy including magical realism. Too, though most of the materials here are short stories, not all are; there are a handful of poems, a short play, as well as some other works a little more difficult to explain. In a collection such as this, there are often at least a few stinkers, but I can honestly say I enjoyed everything I read here, with a handful of favorites. The first story that really popped out at me was "Fragments" by Aaron Polson, a tale of a mother who sacrifices everything for her children. Steve Goble's "The Blood of Thousands" I had read before, but it remained just as strong on second reading and is truly one of the most different vampires tales I've read. The one-act play, "God's Work," by J.J. Steinfeld stands out not only because it is a play, thus a different reading format, but for its way with words and an ending that is surprising though not necessarily a twist ending. "Hit the Button" by S. J. Higbee is one of the most charming tales of the lot, though it deals with a theme that touches us all, how we cope with loss. All of the stories touch upon spiritual aspects, some with broad stripes while others a more narrow focus, but none are too over-the-top or preachy by any means.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I often add a short story collection into my reading rotation too. Sometimes it's just the right thing to bring up the experience.