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Lightspeed: Year One Paperback – Nov 22 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Prime Books (Nov. 22 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607013045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607013044
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #592,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Very dark, in general Feb. 19 2012
By Icabod Brothers - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The writing cannot be denied as excellent throughout this collection of stories. However, the majority of the stories are exceedingly dark. Not the right read if you're looking to be uplifted about stories of the future.

Again, very well written and engaging stories, just a bit depressing in overall tone.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The problem with Anthologies... but a good one. Jan. 14 2012
By Enkidu844 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The problem with anthologies - especially ones that combine stories from different time periods - is that the quality of the total works will vary. The first story was quite bad and left me with a feeling of 'uh-oh, what did I just spend my money on', most stories are average, but some (old and new) are real gems and well worth the purchase.

All in all, a good buy for traveling and short jaunts. But not something you could sit down for a long read over.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A lot of literature for the buck! Sept. 23 2012
By Kurt A. Johnson - Published on
Format: Paperback
Lightspeed Magazine is a science fiction and fantasy e-zine that specializes in carrying only the best. Among the participating authors are such big names as Orson Scott Car, Stephen King and Ursula Le Guin, just to name a few! This anthology collects all of the stories from the first year of Lightspeed, containing some 48 stories...if I counted correctly.

As you might expect with an anthology of stories by different authors, they run the gamut from the so-so to the fantastic - though admittedly, a good deal of that is taste. Personally, I loved David Barr Kirtley's Cats In Victory, Genevieve Valentine's The Zeppelin Conductors' Society Annual Gentlemen's Ball, and Stephen King's Beach World. Probably the best part of a book like this is that it can introduce you to authors whose work you have never encountered before, or reintroduce you to authors you thought you knew.

I really enjoyed this nice, thick book, and I don't hesitate to recommend it. It's a lot of literature for the buck!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
thoroughly recommended Sept. 1 2012
By John Haylock - Published on
Format: Paperback
i've been disappointed with many recent sf anthologies, but this one is excellent, a combination of big names and new guys, the literary quality is very high,and the themes explored are often novel and never less than intriguing, this is on a par with Gardner Dozois hugely entertaining field leader, the massive annual sf round up ...'Best new sf', purchase with utter confidence, and here's to volume two !
Quality work in the first year of Lightspeed Magazine June 24 2012
By David Roy - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Best of year" anthologies are prolific in the science fiction field, but they aren't the only annual collections of short stories out there. Some individual magazines put out their best as well. What is unique, however, is a magazine publishing literally an entire year of its fiction entries into one anthology. Lightspeed: Year One is an amazing collection of forty-seven tales from the first year of the new online magazine Lightspeed's existence. They have now started including fantasy in their field of stories, so I'm even more looking forward to next year's anthology.

The problem with putting everything out there in book form, however, is that there will inevitably be some stories that don't work for some people. I used to subscribe to two or three SF magazines, and there was always the occasional clunker. No magazine is perfect, and tastes range too much for this type of anthology to ever achieve a five-star rating. For every story that has tons of fans, there will be somebody who doesn't like it. And while you can recognize the quality of the stories, that doesn't mean they'll all work for you.

That said, this is an excellent collection of old and new stories from some of the biggest names in SF writing (and even non-SF, as Stephen King has a science fiction story here). Each issue of the magazine features an old story and a new one, so you will be reading some classics. Yet the editors don't go for the easy ones. I've read a lot of SF, and all but a couple of these stories were still new to me (one wasn't due to its inclusion in a "best of the year" anthology that I had already read). Most of these are excellent, too.

Including stories in the same order as they appeared in the magazine sometimes leads to trouble. There were two cannibal stories in a row (evidently that was a themed issue) and I couldn't stomach the second one. What little I read of it didn't attract me enough to get me to come back at a later date, either. There are the occasional stumbles out of the gate because of order issues.

Getting through these are worth it, however, for inspiring and fascinating stories like "Patient Zero" by Tananarive Due. This is the story of a young boy kept in isolation, his only companions the doctors who are examining him and a teacher, none of whom can enter his bubble. An unknown disease is ravaging the world, and this boy seems to be the carrier of it. It's a haunting tale of loneliness and implied horror when you realize just what's going on in the outside world. The ending of the story compounds that impact.

Or "Eliot Wrote" by Nancy Kress, about a boy trying to come up with a fitting way to write an English paper explaining "something important using extended metaphor." This is all a backdrop to dealing with a mathematician father who seems to be a bit insane. If we remove some of our memories in order to heal afflictions like this, would it fundamentally change who we are? Is it better to be ourselves and deal with our own psychological issues rather than having them taken away from us?

This is the kind of thing I love about science fiction in general, and anthologies in particular. The ideas are so intriguing and way out there, and short stories provide ample opportunity to explore so many of them at the same time. Even when the story isn't necessarily to your taste, it often forces you stop and think--which is what stories are supposed to do.

Lightspeed: Year One is a great advertisement for the magazine, which includes nonfiction pieces as well as the fiction collected here. If you don't want the challenge of reading monthly issues and don't care about nonfiction, you can't go wrong with the anthology either.

They've converted at least one fan.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book © Dave Roy, 2012