- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 630 KB
- Print Length: 150 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Alternative Realities; 1 edition (11 Dec. 2016)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01NBGO2TI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #797,135 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Global Nerfing by Andrew Lawston is a fun take on the world of computer games from the point of view of an NPC – one of those eternal lingerers, there to provide clues and occasionally sword fodder. But what happens to them when the server gets shut down, and the game does dark? In a similar vein, The Last Song of Iranon plays on the trope of the necromancer from the point of view of the monsters; I loved the characters in this story, and the action is excellent.
The Chosen One by David Thomas Moore is an excellent take on the fantasy cliche of the hero, with an amusingly cynical explanation of the ongoing Heroic Battles. After Happily Ever by James Brodgen is in a similar theme, with an old king harking back to his adventuring days, and taking some rather more direct action to rid the kingdom of monsters – with possibly my favourite line of “get a dungeon, you two!”
Cadenza is a beautifully lyrical piece about the clash of technology and nature, the ebb and flow of the world. The Guardian’s Eye by Francis Hartley is an intriguing mix of mythology and technology, with an inventor trying to create a machine to house his dying body and his son trying to help, with some devastating results. The Last Stand of the Seelie is likewise an unusual take on traditional stories; the use of magic for darker purposes, and the measures a Queen will take to protect her peoples.
Stone Sunset by Gaie Sebold is a haunting, dark tale of fallen civilisations and old cultures, and the price that a tribe’s leader will pay to keep his values. Awaken by Jared Zygarlicke is another darker tale of forgotten magics and silent guardians that are possibly not what they seem…and the final story in the anthology, A Single Word Spoken by Brian Hamilton, is a thoughtful and eerie take on an attempt to reach God, the political machinations, and the consequences of a quest.
Overall, the anthology mixes light-hearted and darker stories to great effect, and the different takes on the fall of civilisations makes for thoughtful reading. A collection that's worth picking up.