Before They Were Giants

James L Sutter, Editor, Kieran Yanner, Illustrator, Piers Anthony, Contribution by, Greg Bear, Contribution by, Ben Bova, Contribution by, Cory Doctorow, Contribution by
Edited by James L. Sutter, Paizo/Planet Stories (, $15.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 9781601252661
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Sutter's primary goal for this anthology is to show the humble beginnings of famous authors so new writers will be less embarrassed by their own early efforts. In this the results are mixed, since many of the 15 stories are impressive. China MiƩville's "Highway 61 Revisited" and Nicola Griffith's "Mirrors and Burnstone" make deft use of familiar themes; Kim Stanley Robinson's "In Pierson's Orchestra" and Michael Swanwick's "Ginungagap" are legitimately masterful. More reassuring are the short interviews, which contain helpful advice and humanizing tales of rejection. Sutter limited his invitations to authors who were available to give interviews and hadn't contributed to similar compilations, like Martin Greenberg's recent Wondrous Beginnings and Magical Beginnings; readers may appreciate the lack of crossover but will bemoan the resulting lack of female authors in Sutter's TOC. (Sept.)
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