Eclipse One: New Fantasy and Science Fiction
Jeffrey Ford, Garth Nix, Peter S. Beagle, . . Nightshade, $14.95 (263pp) ISBN 978-1-59780-117-1
Each of the 16 selections in Strahan's superb anthology (the launch of an annual series) does a disturbing take on a premise that genre fans may find familiar from more mundane examples of science fiction, fantasy or horror. Paul Brandon and Jack Dann's “The Transformation of Targ” and Ysabeau S. Wilce's “Quartermaster Returns,” both horror stories, simultaneously unsettle and amuse. Jeffrey Ford's metaphorical “The Drowned Life” explores a debtor's despair. Peter S. Beagle's “The Last and Only or, Mr. Moscowitz Becomes French” veers all too close to contemporary reality, while Terry Dowling's “Toother” is as much about the grim realities of the Napoleonic and American Civil Wars as it is about the horror of serial killers. Ellen Klages's “Mrs. Zeno's Paradox” plays a delightful twist on the classical thought experiment. Gwyneth Jones's “In the Forest of the Queen” is at once hauntingly ethereal and an arresting reinterpretation of humans wandering into faerie. Every selection both defines and challenges our genre expectations.
Reviewed on: 10/01/2007