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Customer Review

on 13 June 2012
Subterranean Press have done some great Jack Vance anthologies, with loving introductions and notes on each story therein. How can they have bungled this so badly that there is not even a copyright list, so you cannot even tell when a particular story was written? To read the copyright note, you would think every story here was fresh-written for this volume, which is not the case. Sure, the contents of the book are great and distinct - scifi, fantasy, space opera, dystopian future earth - but so much is missing that should be there.

Maybe all that is because I'm a real Cook fan, with his Garrett series being one of the most fun things I have ever read, but I think the lack of ancillary material is even more pronounced for a casual reader.

For instance, "Darkwar" was written in the early 80's, and Glen Cook then wrote a trilogy of books as a prequel to the short story (yes, the mind boggles at the unorthodoxy). I only know that because it was in an interview I read. That's the kind of stuff that helps make a collection become more than the sum of its parts. Great parts, yes, but it could be more.

Of all the stories, "The devil's tooth" was the one I liked the best: a gritty sword & sorcery tale in a dying-earth type setting, but definitely not Vance. Really though, all were great, and its only a matter of personal taste which story you enjoy the most: "Dragons in the sky" was also up there, and now I am tempted to try the Starfishers trilogy after all.

If you like Glen Cook, you'll like this. If you like scifi, or S&S, or short story collections, you'll like this too.
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