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Outside the Box: The Best Short Fiction from Bookface.Com [Paperback]

Lou Anders


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Book Description

January 2001 Alan Rodgers Books
18 extraordinary stories of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and suspense . . . a junkie's corpse that refuses to decay . . . a clan of bears with a sacred trust . . . a murderer with a knack for media . . . an ancient ruin on an alien world . . . a bus ride from hell . . . a man with the power to undo the past . . . Outside the Box collects the most popular, innovative, and intriguing speculative fiction to appear on Bookface.com. From established names like Graham Joyce, Brian Hodge, John Grant, and J. Michael Straczynski, to the best of today's new talents, Outside the Box presents some of the most compelling writing to emerge from the Web to date.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wildside Press (January 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587152835
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587152832
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 513 g

Product Description

From the Publisher

Outside the Box collects the most popular, innovative, and intriguing speculative fiction to appear on Bookface.com. From established names like Graham Joyce, Brian Hodge, John Grant, and J. Michael Straczynski, to the best of today’s new talents, Outside the Box presents some of the most compelling writing to emerge from the Web to date.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone April 30 2001
By W. Fort - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
With 18 excellent short stories, Outside the Box has something to please almost any horror, SF or fantasy enthusiast. Even if you don't recognize some of the names, you're bound to know some of the authors' other works. From stories of honest, touching love to some truly twisted tales, the reader is taken on a journey through medieval hamlets, raw cities, and beyond the stars. We are treated to glimpses of how our world may have been before, how it may be soon, and in some ways how it is now. Every story leaves the reader with something; hope for the human spirit, fear of the unseen, courage in the face of adversity. The stories in Outside the Box do what art is supposed to do... they make you think. I wish I had known about Bookface.com before it ceased to exist. From the small sampling of its fare, I believe those who appreciate good literature have lost something great.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmmmmm July 3 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First off, I read a few of these stories online when they were "published" on bookface.com, and I enjoyed them more online...but that has little to do with the substance and artistic quality of the content. And now this, Outside the Box, book is for sale on Amazon...and I bought it...
How to rate this book? If I had to sum it up in one line, it would be that all of the stories make one think. The stories in the book subtly or overtly introduce concepts and ideas that leave the reader wondering if the writer is either brilliant, living in an alternate universe, or both. Perfect.
My parting thought is that for true afficianados of the writen word, this anthology is not unlike a jackson pollack painting -- where often the process of creation could be just as exciting and engaging as the outcome.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curate's Egg May 23 2001
By John Freeman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Wrapped in a stunning cover by John Picacio, Outside the Box exemplifies the best and worst of anthology titles. The best thing about anthologies is that they give you the chance to sample authors you may never have heard of before, which will spur you into tracking down their longer works.
The worst thing about anthologies is that inevitably, there will be authors whose work you won't enjoy and will perhaps ponder the value in purchasing a title containing their stories.
I'm pleased to report that there is very much of the best and little of the worst in this collection. There's much to recommend for many of the stories published in print here, which were first presented on the now defunct bookface.com web site.
The most memorable contributions are those of John Grant (Mouse, a thought-provoking blend of fantasy and reality); Erin Cashier Denton (The Hiddenbehind, a chilling horror story); Graham Joyce (who brings an edge of unease to growing up in Under the Pylon); and Cold Type by J. Michael Straczynski. Straczynski, perhaps best known as creator of Babylon 5, continues to prove himself a master storyteller with the tale of a man with a unique talent for re-writing reality, and provides a chilling round off to the anthology.
Many of the stories featured are quite dark in tone, which can become a little wearing. The only exception to this theme is The Greys from Paul Cornell, whose tale of a possible abductee displays much of his ability to burst the balloon of many modern myths.
If the collection has fault, then it is that the inclusion of fantasy tales with more mainstream SF stories doesn't really sit right for me. I have a feeling that the contributions of authors such as Fiona Avery, Tippi Blevins, Vera Nazarian and Laura J. Underwood, while strongly written and offering absorbing tales of other realms, might have been better suited to a fantasy anthology rather than this collection. Of course the demise of bookface.com prevented such an item, although I gather this was one unachieved aim of the enterprise.
Despite this reservation, there is much to recommend about Outside the Box, and it has spurred me to look out for more by many of the authors included. Well worth sampling.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag? Possibly; but full of goodies! June 14 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Whilst I agree that the tales are of varying quality, I thought the first reviewer was being overly harsh. This is an anthology after all which gives one the chance to explore new authors as well as catch up with old favourites.
My own personal fave was "12 Offerings" by Tippi Blevins (unknown to me before I picked up a copy). She definitely has the streak of Gaiman in her writings. The stories from JMS, Grant, Avery, Joyce and Hodge also provide for some very good reading.

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