A Fantastic Holiday Season: The Gift of Stories

Edited by Kevin J. Anderson and Keith J. Olexa. Wordfire (www.wordfire.com), $16.99 trade paper (306p) ISBN 978-1-61475-202-8
This often amusing and frequently compelling collection features Christmas-themed short stories from some of fantasy and science fiction’s brightest stars. In “Naughty & Nice,” editor (and Wordfire co-owner) Anderson’s popular zombie detective, Dan Shamble, gets things rolling when he helps Santa Claus recover his stolen list in the Unnatural Quarter of New Orleans. Other familiar characters include Heather Graham’s Krewe of Hunters in “Santa’s Mortuary” and Patricia Briggs popular werewolves in “Unappreciated Gifts.” In completely different futures, both Sam Knight’s “Yes, Virginia2097c, There Is a Santa Claus” and Brad R. Torgersen’s “Astronaut Nick” suggest Santa might retrofit his sled with an interstellar rocket to reach children who want to believe but are afraid to try. Eric James Stone’s “A Sufficiently Advanced Christmas,” in which computers communicating with a child learn their own Christmas moral, is particularly touching. And what holiday collection would be complete without zombies and possessed pigs attacking as the innocent sit down to their Christmas feasts? This is the perfect escape for weary holiday shoppers. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/2014
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-61475-093-2
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