, . . Hadley Rille, $24.95 (228pp) ISBN 978-0-9825140-6-1
Many of the stories in this ambitious overview of human evolution are more historical than speculative. Gerri Leen's deceptively simple “Patterns of Fall” watches loving tree-dwelling humanoids fall prey to hyenas; Lezli Robyn's compelling and memorable “The Dawn of Reason” examines the complexities of mammoth hunting; Max Habilis's gut-wrenching “The Ugly Ones” addresses responsibility and xenophobia. Fans of the fantastic will be on more familiar ground with Camille Alexa's “The Pull of the World and the Push of the Sky,” wherein barely articulate proto-human Gunh learns to fly, and Mike Resnick's delightful “Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge,” in which aliens try to determine the origins of now-vanished humankind. The only flat note is Reynolds's choice to put these individually excellent works into a single anthology, where they fail to mesh and will leave both history and SF fans unsatisfied.
Reviewed on: 10/26/2009