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Eclipse 1: New Science Fiction and Fantasy…

Eclipse 1: New Science Fiction and Fantasy

by Jonathan Strahan (Editor)

Other authors: Peter S. Beagle (Contributor), Paul Brandon (Contributor), Jack Dann (Contributor), Terry Dowling (Contributor), Andy Duncan (Contributor)11 more, Jeffery Ford (Contributor), Kathleen Ann Goonan (Contributor), Eileen Gunn (Contributor), Gwyneth Jones (Contributor), Ellen Klages (Contributor), Margo Lanagan (Contributor), Maureen F. McHugh (Contributor), Garth Nix (Contributor), Lucius Shepard (Contributor), Bruce Sterling (Contributor), Ysabeau S. Wilce (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Eclipse Anthology (1)

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1276142,314 (3.4)16

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4.5 stars

A generally excellent collection of SF stories from 2007, running the gamut of speculative fiction, but with a distinct slant toward the left-field and downright weird. 'Toother' by [a:Terry Dowling|22993|Terry Dowling|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/authors/1378054615p2/22993.jpg] is a weird psychic murder mystery - brilliant, but let down by a rushed denouement, I thought - while [a:Jeffrey Ford|19305|Jeffrey Ford|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/authors/1271689548p2/19305.jpg]'s 'The Drowned Life' and [a:Andy Duncan|331704|Andy Duncan|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png]'s 'Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse' are pretty much unclassifiable.

'The Transformation of Tag' from [a:Paul Brandon|484364|Paul Brandon|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] & [a:Jack Dann|142717|Jack Dann|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/authors/1223870077p2/142717.jpg] was funny, and reminiscent of the [a:Alan Moore|3961|Alan Moore|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/authors/1304944713p2/3961.jpg] Futureshock 'The Wages of Sin', while [a:Ellen Klages|24901|Ellen Klages|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/authors/1227067359p2/24901.jpg] 'Mrs Zeno's Paradox' was perfect, clever little vignette.

The other stand-outs were 'The Lustration' by [a:Bruce Sterling|34429|Bruce Sterling|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/authors/1379306689p2/34429.jpg], which uses a planet-girdling computer of a peculiar sort to discuss what exactly is intelligence, and 'Quartermaster Returns' from [a:Ysabeau S. Wilce|133908|Ysabeau S. Wilce|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/authors/1319486647p2/133908.jpg], a weirdly brilliant and hilarious fantasy western. ( )
  Pezski | Jun 8, 2017 |
A very mixed bag - many poor/dull, a few quite good, but overall disappointing.

Andy Duncan - Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse - dull
Garth Nix - Bad luck, Trouble, Death, and Vampire Sex - tried too hard to be quirky
Peter S Beagel - The Last and Only, or Mr Moscowitz Becomes French - dull
Maureen f. McHugh - The Lost Boy: A Reporter At Large - dull
Jeffrey Ford - The Drowned Life - OK
Terry Dowling - Toother - unpleasant
Eileen Gunn - Up The Fire Road - quite good
Gwyneth Jones - In the Forest of the Queen - good
Ysabeau S. Wilce - The Quartermaster Returns - good
Kathleen Ann Goonan - Electric Rains - ok
Margo Lanagan - She-Creatures - good
Paul Brandon and Jack Dann - The Transformation of Targ - poor
Ellen Klages - Mrs Zeno's Paradox - excellent
Bruce Sterling - The Lustration - ok
Lucius Shepard - Larissa Miusov ok ( )
  SChant | Apr 27, 2015 |
"New Science Fiction and Fantasy Eclipse One" was a disappointing anthology of 15 original stories, and as it turned out, primarily darkish fantasy, freakish, creepy, mostly forgettable. Science Fiction? hmmm, a dribble. I wanted to read this collection because there were a couple authors in here that I really like, such as Lucius Shepard, mixed with a large number of authors whose work I find rarely, such as Terry Dowling or was unfamiliar with. The idea of a new anthology series sounded great.

Something that I found missing, and which I think was especially needed for an anthology like this, was an introduction to each story by the editor. There is an "about the authors" section at the end of the collection, but there is nothing in here to tell me why each individual story was chosen. Why did Strahan think each was special? What piqued his interest? What idea grabbed him? Not all anthologies include this, but I think the best do, and it was sorely needed here.

There is by intention no overarching theme to this collection of stories, for better or worse. In the introduction by Strahan he explains why he wanted to start a new anthology series, but as I read through these stories he utterly failed to convince me he was the person for the job. I ended up quite disappointed with this, but other readers might not be. A couple of the stories I really didn't like such as the entries by Jeffrey Ford, Bruce Sterling and Garth Nix. In fact, I disliked the Nix piece so much I didn't even finish it. Halfway was more than enough. The Eileen Gunn piece was very strange. Several good stories balance the really bad, and most are just in the "so-so" area. I found Peter Beagle's well written funny/sad piece offbeat and rather good. Terry Dowling's "Toother" was pretty good, maybe my favorite in here, but it was a horror story. "Electric Rains" by Kathleen Ann Goonan I also thought was one of the better ones. I liked Lucius Shepard's "Larissa Miusov", the last of the stories, although I thought it too short. Not among Shepard's best work but worth the quick read. I doubt I would put a single story from this in any "Best of the Year" type collection. OK, perhaps that is a little too harsh. I think it is safe to say that Strahan's taste in new fiction does not match mine. I have another in this series waiting to be read (Eclipse 3). I really hope it is better than this collection, which I would recommend avoiding. This is a "miss" for me.

The stories are:

Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse by Andy Duncan
Bad Luck, Trouble, Death, and Vampire Sex by Garth Nix
The Last and Only or, Mr. Moscowitz Becomes French by Peter S. Beagle
The Lost Boy: A Reporter At Large by Maureen F. McHugh
The Drowned Life by Jeffrey Ford
Toother by Terry Dowling
Up the Fire Road by Eileen Gunn
In the Forest of the Queen by Gwyneth Jones
Quartermaster Returns by Ysabeau S. Wilce
Electric Rains by Kathleen Ann Goonan
She-Creatures by Margo Lanagan
The Transformation of Targ by Jack Dann and Paul Brandon
Mrs. Zeno's Paradox by Ellen Klages
The Lustration by Bruce Sterling
Larissa Miusov by Lucius Shepard ( )
  RBeffa | Aug 28, 2012 |
A collection of fifteen original short stories.

I sought out this collection solely for Ysabeau S. Wilce's story, but figured I might as well read the rest while I had the book. I love short fiction, and I've found it to be a good way of discovering new authors.

Some of the stories were very good. I enjoyed the Wilce's "Quartermaster Returns" very much; I continue to find her style just delightful, and her worldbuilding is tops. Maureen F. McHugh's "The Lost Boy: A Reporter at Large" was very interesting in its journalistic approach to fiction. "Toother" by Terry Dowling was suitably creepy. "Electric Rains" by Kathleen Ann Goonan was engaging, drawing me into this twisted world and giving me all the information I needed to understand it without ever going overboard. "Larissa Miusov" by Lucius Shepard reminded me very much of Neil Gaiman's work, so far as style and tone go; I found it very readable.

I did enjoy Peter S. Beagle's "The Last and Only or, Mr. Moscowitz Becomes French" for the elegance of the language, but it's already fading. I doubt it'll stay with me for long.

Unfortunately, I disliked or was pretty indifferent to the rest of the stories - and they account for about 2/3 of the collection. The writing was decent, in most cases, but the stories never grabbed me. Most were evidently written in the vintage mode, designed to convey a particular effect right near the end. This can be very effective if done right, but I felt that it fell flat with most of them. I'll admit, also, that I skimmed a couple. They instantly put me off, and I just couldn't get into them.

So as a whole, I'd say this is far from essential reading. I doubt I'll seek out any future volumes of the series, and I'll be leery of anything else Strahan has edited/selected. His tastes just don't jive with my own. ( )
  xicanti | Jun 12, 2009 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Strahan, JonathanEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beagle, Peter S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brandon, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dann, JackContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dowling, TerryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duncan, AndyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ford, JefferyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goonan, Kathleen AnnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gunn, EileenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, GwynethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klages, EllenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lanagan, MargoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McHugh, Maureen F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nix, GarthContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shepard, LuciusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sterling, BruceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilce, Ysabeau S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Justin Ackroyd, dear friend, fearless book supplier, and tireless supporter of my work.
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(from the introduction)This is a good time for the short story in genre circles.
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Book description
This anthology consists of 15 stories of fantasy and 3 science fiction. They include:
"Unique Chicken Goes In Reverse" by Andy Duncan
"Bad Luck, Trouble Death & Vampire Sex" by Garth Nix
"The Last and Only or, Mr. Moscowitz Becomes French" by Peter S. Beagle
"The Lost Boy: A Reporter At Large" by Maureen McHugh
"The Drowned Life" by Jeffrey Ford
"Toother" by Terry Dowling
"Up the Fire Road" by Eileen Gunn
"In the Forest of the Queen" by Gwyneth Jones
"Quartermaster Returns" by Ysabeau S. Wilce
"Electric Rains" by Kathleen Ann Goonan
"She Creatures" by Margo Lanagan
"The Transformation of Targ" by Paul Brandon and Jack Dunn
"Mrs. Zeno's Paradox" by Ellen Klages
"The Lustration" by Bruce Sterling
"Larissa Miusov" by Lucius Shephard
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An eclipse is a rare and unusual event, when the world is transformed and the sky becomes a dark eldritch thing. It's a time when anything could happen, when any kind of story just might be true. That sense of the strange and wonderful guides Eclipse: New Science Fiction and Fantasy, the first volume in an exciting new annual anthology series edited by acclaimed anthologist Jonathan Strahan. Set to become a major event on the science fiction and fantasy calendar,Eclipse: New Science Fiction and Fantasy gathers together new science fiction and fantasy stories by the best writers working today. You can see that in Eclipse 1, which features extraordinary tales by Peter S. Beagle, Jack Dann & Paul Brandon, Terry Dowling, Andy Duncan, Jeffrey Ford, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Eileen Gunn, Gwyneth Jones, Ellen Klages, Maureen F. McHugh, Garth Nix, Lucius Shepard, Bruce Sterling and Ysabeau S. Wilce.… (more)

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