Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera for a New Age

Bryan Thomas Schmidt. Every Day (www.everydaypublishing.ca), $29.95 (360p) ISBN 978-0-9881257-5-9
This crowdfunded homage to the genre of yesteryear falls oddly flat, despite the clear enthusiasm of its contributors for epic tales of space adventure. Contained within are two essays, a poem, and 24 space operas, some original to this volume while others are drawn from the magazine Ray Gun Revival, now gone after a seven-year run. Schmidt has acquired works from well-known authors like Seanan McGuire, Brenda Cooper, and the late A.C. Crispin (whose "Twilight World" may be the final StarBridge story to see print), as well as relative newcomers. Tales of nomadic justice appear next to stories about personal vengeance, first-contact accounts are side-by-side with time travel adventures, and farces like Milo James Fowler's "Captain Quasar and the Insurmountable Barrier of Space Junk" run alongside grim tales like Shaun Farrell's "Conversion." Despite the proven talent of many of the contributors, the stories individually and collectively are frustratingly unsatisfying and unmemorable; the worthy premise is sabotaged by poor execution. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/28/2013
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-9881257-6-6
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