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on 14 September 2012
I am reading this at the moment - great stories by different authors but all linked. What a great idea. Can't put it down and will be sorry when finished. I recommend to all SF readers especially lovers of short stories. Hope another shared world anthology will be published soon
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on 16 May 2017
An eclectic mix of detailed viewpoints of a single event, which gels into a single, well crafted, if a little disturbing seamless story. Fantastic Scifi.
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on 24 July 2012
This book was quite a surprise to me, I have to say. For a start, I am not a big fan of short stories, I like to really get stuck into a tale and short stories are a bit like having one bite of something really delicious and that's it, meal over. So I approached this book expecting it to be a sort of "cut and come again" type thing...read one story and set it aside until the next time I had ten minutes to spare.

Boy was I surprised! Through an amazing act of collaboration, these many and varied writers have combined their skills and created a cohesive whole out of all the parts. These "short stories" are not self contained writings but rather form chapters of a longer story, a story that had me clicking the page turn button well into the small hours. How all these people, living all over the world, have managed to write something that holds together as a gripping story that will have you wanting more and more, and yet maintained their own style as story tellers is beyond me. It's just absolutely brilliant.

Each writer picks up threads from the ones before and weaves them into his own story, each creating unique characters and horrors, but then allowing the next person to pick up the unfolding awfulness of what happens after the Large Hadron Collider is destroyed. It's seamless and yet you can hear each individual writer's voice as they tell their part.

If you like science fiction or horror, or both, then you will love this book. It's complex, clever and I want more, please!
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on 16 August 2012
I came to this from a recommendation of a friend of mine and I was a little cautious about buying it as I don't often find myself reading anthologies. I only finished it today and am glad I did purchase it. The basic premise in which a world shattering event plunges our civilisation into chaos reminded me very much of the Word War Zombie novel which in a loose sense is perhaps an anthology, albeit by a single author. As with all anthologies, the very number and scope of the stories can vary in quality and depth but here as I delved deeper and deeper into the novel I was drawn in to the horror and the sheer detail of what was happening.

There are over-arching stories which serve to unify the novel and these work around and through the stand alone stories very well. I would say that two things stood out in the anthology as whole: the 'event' itself and its consequences which gripped me from the outset and the little individual stories of people toiling against an unimaginable reality. 'World's Collider' brings an impressive array of authors together and the result is a series of stories which constantly surprise you in the range from Gothic horror to urban survivalist episodes to even fashion labels. It would be unfair of me to single out or rank the better stories as I think all work well together to immerse a reader into a single horrifying reality.

This novel builds up like a mosaic or a palimpsest and its sheer size and breadth really impressed me. If you are at all interested in horror or apocalyptic literature, then do yourself a favour and buy this. If nothing else it will introduce you to several authors to watch out for in the future!
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on 11 February 2013
"An anthology posing as a novel? Or possibly a novel posing as an anthology."

I highly recommend that you read the intro first; it explains the concept behind this anthology, which is nothing short of fantastic, and the editor, Richard Salter, did an amazing job of putting it all together. World's Collider was not only the best anthology that I read in 2012, but it's the most remarkable story collection that I've ever read to date.

The individual accounts within this anthology, written by multiple authors with diverse writing styles, with various POVs and locations, create a larger story about a dimensional rift that opens in the middle of Europe.

While it reminds me slightly of the presentation of World War Z, Salter takes it even further by constructing a novel with short stories written separately by numerous authors. The intro explains the painstaking process.

The stories themselves will both terrify and thrill horror fans, describing mankind's struggle to survive the onslaught of demonic entities spilling into our world from the rift.

If you enjoy novels such as Craig DiLouie's Infection series, or Read the End First (edited by Suzanne Robb), you will relish the nightmares within the pages of World's Collider!
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on 9 November 2012
World's Collider is an interesting experiment in which eighteen short stories tell one continuous story. It's a largely successful experiment too. While the narrative is formed from a host of disparate voices, it creates an intricate whole and Salter's made sure that the main characters' personalities don't shift too much between the stories and that there aren't too many inconsistencies. The premise of the story - what if we discover what in essence are wormholes using the Hadron Collider in Geneva - is interesting and the vision of the slow apocalypse that follows is quite frightening, showing both the best and worst mankind has to offer.

The stories are told in different formats, via blog posts and comments, in journal format, as flashes of vision, in first person and third. This creates a dynamic feeling and also allows for the different writing styles to blend, so the narrative doesn't feel too choppy. The characters are quite interesting too; the different authors capture the different ways humans cope with disaster quite well. There are several main returning characters, that of Scott Fletcher, Natalie Murphy and Joseph Tern. If Scott and Natalie are on the side of the angels - not literally, though some would have you believe differently - then Joseph Tern is the devil incarnate. He's a full-blown psychopath, who kills people for pleasure and forms a conduit for something that is even less pleasant. Their development across the stories is not as completely as one might like, but it went further than I had expected. I would have liked to have seen more of how the years after the Collision had affected Scott and where Natalie came from before she became the hardened soldier we meet in The Coming Scream. Scattered about the narrative are several returning characters with larger or smaller parts and it's fun to spot the connections.

Even if World's Collider is one narrative, as with any anthology there are bound to be stories that click better with each individual reader than others. In my case, my favourite stories were Keep Calm and Carry On Parts I-IV, The Rise and Fall of the House of Ricky, What Little Boys Are Made Of, and Caught. The Keep Calm and Carry On sequence was a great look at how social media, in this case blogs, might function in an apocalypse, but also how tenuous a link it is to the outside world--once WiFi and electricity goes, you're lost. I also liked how it gave us snap shots of the same people not at the heart of the narrative, at different points of the apocalypse. The Rise and Fall of the House of Ricky was just very fun, as I love Project Runway - yes, I watch horrible reality TV shows to turn my brain off - and I can so see this happening, a fashionista giving up their soul for fashion. It's a creepy story, but despite that fun! What Little Boys Are Made Of broke my heart. Not just the fact that these two small children were left alone, but the way the eldest tried her best to care for her little brother knowing full well that it was almost beyond hope. One might say it was an easy play on sentimentality, but I found it well-written and I loved the voice of this little, six-year-old boy. Caught was a mixture of dread and paranoia shaken with a good bit of suicide mission and served on ice-cold cubes of creepy. I'm quite afraid of spiders and the fact that the 'enemy' here had taken the form of a spider gave me chills, but despite this I liked the way the relationships and interactions between the characters were drawn.

The ending is of the narrative is nebulous. While it might be the happy ending humanity hoped for, it never explicitly says so and there are some loose ends which make me wonder about a possible sequel. Because if they are not there to serve as plot hooks for a further novel, they are just very glaring loose ends. Still, as it stands World's Collider is an engaging read, which is both scary and encouraging; humanity sinks deeply, but also shows its resilience and rises above itself. The book might not work for everyone, as it is not quite fish nor fowl due to its experimental nature, but I appreciated the concept and its execution, even if it wasn't completely flawless. If you're a fan of anthologies and would like to see what the form can stretch to, World's Collider is well worth a read.

This book was provided for review by the publisher.
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on 30 January 2013
Fascinating book. I was hooked from the start, each story carried the narrative along, and I was desperate to find out how it all ended, highly recommended!
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on 5 October 2012
This book is neither a novel nor a collection of short stories, and this is both its strength and its weakness.

It is a collection of chapters, contributing to a common story line, written by different authors. Some stories give more to the whole than others. All are well written and engaging, but I think what it needed (at least to get 5 stars from me) was somebody with a big whip making sure the different chapters didn't stray too far from the path.

Of course I have no idea whether the path was mapped out in advance, or whether it simply evolved with each chapter. If the latter then it would explain why certain concepts and ideas make a brief appearance, never to be heard from or mentioned again.

The concept is a decent one: The LHC undergoes some sort of "meltdown" (for want of a better word) and opens up a rift between worlds. From what I can make out there are at least 2 of "our world" (i.e. earth) as one character flees to a parallel world (then another is mentioned later, so perhaps 3), plus at least one dimension that contains a lot of nasties. I was never quite sure whether this was supposed to be a gateway to infinite worlds or not, but it's not so important. There are a couple of characters that tie the whole thing together, and the concept certainly works.

So, overall? I really enjoyed it. To get the extra star a little more cohesion would be needed for me (i.e. either the "whip-controller" or a "plot-in-advance" approach - whichever was lacking this time) to avoid the dead ends and minor continuity errors between the chapters.
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on 31 October 2012
I wasn't sure at first - took me some time to get my head around who was who and why what they were doing mattered, but once I got there after dipping in and out, I enjoyed this. Interesting ideas and just plausible enough...
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on 3 June 2013
An interesting collaboration. Started really well but I did start skipping through towards the end. It's not the kind of book to read if you don't like loose ends. But interesting and different so thumbs up overall.
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