Some of the Best of Tor.com by Patrick Nielsen Hayden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a collection of eight short works by Tor Publishing authors. I say “works” because not all are stories, there is one epic poem in the mix. Some of the authors I knew by name, some were unfamiliar, and one I have read before.
As with many things of this nature, there were some things I enjoyed more than others. I can’t say that anything included was badly written, just that some appealed to me more than others. I particularly enjoyed “Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders and “The Dala Horse” by Michael Swanwick. The poem, by Paul Park, was less than successful for me, and I found myself skimming most of it. “Hello, Moto” by Nnedi Okorafor was another I found less appealing, though not for lack of talent. The premise is interesting and the writing fairly good, but I found myself not relating to the characters well. The real gem in the collection is Harry Turtledove’s “Shtetl Days.” Without spoiling anything for those who have not read this one, it combines Turtledove’s deft hand with alternate history with a story about transformation that is both subtle and scary. This one alone was worth downloading the collection.
The eight stories are varied in theme and setting, and not everyone will enjoy each one. But since it is offered for free, it is certainly worth checking out, especially if you are looking for an introduction to a new author or two.
The 2012 edition is out now, with ten stories this time.
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