I am such a sucker for fantasy and science fiction. This anthology has the best of both worlds by combining the best portal fantasy stories and parallel world stories. Come, let’s dive into other worlds!
We can all imagine such “other worlds”—be they worlds just slightly different than our own or worlds full of magic and wonder—but it is only in fiction that we can travel to them. From The Wizard of Oz to The Dark Tower, from Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass to C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, there is a rich tradition of this kind of fiction, but never before have the best parallel world stories and portal fantasies been collected in a single volume—until now.
I’m not even done yet with this anthology, but I’m really enjoying it so far. I read it in between reading books for blog tours so it’s been two to three stories at a time for me, but each time I read this book is a magical experience. I am just overwhelmed with how interesting and exciting the stories are. I don’t absolutely love every story but I appreciate the originality and the imagination put into each one. As expected, each story takes me to different places, different times, different universes. This anthology takes me to secret worlds, to parallel worlds on earth, to space and beyond. It really is amazing where one’s imagination can take you and I admire these authors for being able to build new worlds for readers like me.
Each story has something unique and exciting about them and it’s hard to choose favorites, but some of the ones that struck me so far include A Brief Guide to Other Histories (Paul McAuley) where American soldiers act as peacekeepers in parallel worlds, Moon Six (Stephen Baxter) where an astronaut finds himself in different moons, Nothing Personal (Pat Cadigan) where an aging detective stumbles on a case of “illegal” folks, Magic for Beginners (Kelly Link) which is about a group of friends who love a pirate TV show with no specific schedule or channel and has characters that are played alternately by the same actors, and The Cristobal Effect (Simon McCaffery) where a guy tries to change James Dean’s fate.
I think this collection has something for anyone who likes skipping to different worlds. Any fantasy and/or science fiction nut like me will enjoy this awesome collection of stories.
Disclosure: I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to give a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
About John Joseph Adams
John Joseph Adams is the bestselling editor of many anthologies, such as Armored, Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom, Brave New Worlds, Wastelands, The Living Dead, The Living Dead 2, By Blood We Live, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and The Way of the Wizard. He has been nominated for four Hugo Awards and three World Fantasy Awards. He is also the editor of Lightspeed Magazine and Nightmare Magazine, and is the co-host of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. (source)