cover image Eclipse Three

Eclipse Three

Jonathan Strahan, . . Night Shade, $14.95 (289pp) ISBN 978-1-59780-162-1

Australian editor Strahan continues his wide-ranging and occasionally controversial anthology series with 15 boundary-pushing stories. Pat Cadigan's “Don't Mention Madagascar” and Nnedi Okorafor's “On the Road” play wittily with reality and identity, and are exquisitely crafted. Maureen McHugh's “Useless Things” and Ellen Kushner's “Dolce Domum” are melancholy but no less fascinating. Jeffrey Ford's “The Coral Heart” nicely tweaks high fantasy tropes, while Peter S. Beagle's “Sleight of Hand” and Nicola Griffith's “It Takes Two” examine the nature and power of love from very different angles. The less successful efforts by Elizabeth Bear, Molly Gloss and Paul Di Filippo are still ambitious enough to be worth reading. Only Daniel Abraham's cliché-driven “The Pretender's Tourney” and Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple's predictable short-short “Mesopotamian Fire” seem really out of place. Despite the weak spots, Strahan continues to secure his place as a top anthologist. (Dec.)