Shapers of Worlds • 2020 • SF and Fantasy anthology by Edward Willett

★★★☆☆

This anthology celebrates stories from the first year of Podcast The Worldshapers. It‘s been financed as a Kickstarter project and the 18 stories are released at 14.11.2020.

In summary, most stories are enjoyable and I found two gems in it: „Evanescence“ by Modesitt, and Fonda Lee‘s superhero story „Welcome to Legion Six“. There are a couple of mediocre stories in it, though this is more a matter of personal taste than a literary assessment.
The editor is an author himself, and he included a story from himself – I wouldn’t write home about his „Vision Quest“. His decision not only to include the story but even to start the anthology isn’t bold; it feels questionable like cutting the line or serving yourself before your guests.
More than half of the stories were original for the anthology, the other half reprints, and the oldest one „Tricentennial“ from Haldeman closes the anthology.
While the stories are a broad selection over SF and Fantasy subgenres, I couldn’t identify the proclaimed topic of creating worlds consistently in them. The editor just lined them up one after the other without an introduction.
The average over all stories leads to three stars. Usually, I round up a little, because anthologies work differently than novels – they are more than the sum of its parts. In this case, I thought more about decreasing the average because of the editor‘s questionable choice. In the end, it’s a weak three stars, and I can’t fully recommend this anthology.
Please, find individual reviews for each story linked to my blog.

Contents:

  1. • ★★★☆☆ • Vision Quest • 2020 • SF short story by Edward Willett • an eons old entity contacts a teenager • review
  2. • ★★★☆☆ • Call to Arms • 2020 • Fantasy novelette by Tanya Huff • A teenage weredog and a mage join to fight the Empire • review
  3. • ★★★+☆☆ • The Tale of the Wicked • 2009 • Space Opera novelette by John Scalzi • A space ship decides to follow Asimov‘s Laws in the middle of a battle • review
  4. • ★★★+☆☆ • The Farships Fall to Nowhere • 2020 • Generation ship short story by John C Wright • how is it when a generation ship reaches its target planet? • review
  5. • ★★★★☆ • Evanescence • 2020 • First Contact short story by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. • solar system formation, Oort Cloud mining exploration, and opera • review
  6. ☆ • Peel • 2004 • by Julie Czerneda • didn’t unterstand, skipped assessment, no review
  7. • ★★★☆☆ • The Knack of Flying • 2020 • Steampunk short story by Shelley Adina • a secret flight vessel contest in 1896 • review
  8. • ★★+☆☆☆ • Ghost Colours • 2015 • SF short story by Derek Künsken • Dehaunting by gentherapy • review
  9. • ★★★☆☆ • One Million Lira • 2014 • Military SF short story by Thoraiya Dyer • A sniper protects a crashed aircraft from looters • review
  10. • ★★★☆☆ • Pod Dreams of Tuckertown • 2007 • SF short story by Gareth L. Powell • Pod works off a brutal punishment • review
  11. • ★★☆☆☆ • In Silent Streams, Where Once the Summer Shone • 2020 • Apocalyptic short story by Seanan McGuire • A virus extinguishes all humans • review
  12. • ★★★★☆ • Welcome to the Legion of Six • 2019 • Superhero short story by Fonda Lee • New talents interview for a position in a famous group of superheroes • review
  13. • ★★☆☆☆ • Good Intentions • 2020 • Planetary SF short story by Christopher Ruocchio • A Sun Eater story with a scientist interfering with slavery • review
  14. • ★★★☆☆ • “Shhhh. . .” • 1988 • First Contact SF short story by David Brin • far advanced aliens are rumored to have a weakness • review
  15. • ★★☆☆☆ • The Greatest of These is Hope • 2020 • YA first contact novelette by D.J. Butler • a girl on a dying planet meets a dead friend in a Minecraft sim • review
  16. • ★★★+☆☆ • A Thing of Beauty • 2011 • First contact SF novelette by Dr. Charles E. Gannon • A corporation is about to sell unregistered children to aliens • review
  17. • ★★★☆☆ • Home Is Where the Heart Is • 2020 • Urban Fantasy novelette by David Weber  a man without memory sells his soul to the devil • review
  18. • ★★★☆☆ • Tricentennial • 1976 • SF novelette by Joe Haldeman • antimatter propels traveling a generation ship with relativistic speed review

Meta: isfdb, published at 14.11.2020 by Shadowpaw Press.

This entry was posted in Anthology, Fantasy, Science Fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Shapers of Worlds • 2020 • SF and Fantasy anthology by Edward Willett

  1. Ola G says:

    Ah, now I’m less enthusiastic about reading this, but read it I will 😉 Forewarned is forearmed 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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