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Beyond the Stars: At Galaxy's Edge: a space opera anthology Paperback – August 23, 2016
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- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 23, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 349 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1537139118
- ISBN-13 : 978-1537139111
- Item Weight : 14.1 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 0.88 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,831,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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There are two successor anthologies to that collection - Beyond The Stars: A Planet Too Far (lined up on my Kindle for future) and this one, At Galaxy's Edge, which puts the focus squarely on space opera.
One notable difference from the off is that previous collection was an all-woman anthology, bar editor David Greenwood, whereas this collection is a mix of men and women, each spinning their story universes.
This collection has a heady brew of tales too - straight out of the gate we have a tale that author of A Boy And His Dog, Harlan Ellison, would approve of, though this time about a marine and his modified K9 unit. The pair are assigned to investigate a terraforming project gone wrong. It seems routine, it seems like little more than an excuse for the dog to frolic among the new green - but they're very wrong, as things take a turn for the worse. The Good Food is by Michael Ezell, and I really like his style - he'll definitely go on the list for authors to keep an eye on.
That set the tone nicely for a good selection of tales. David Bruns' The Epsilon Directive is very much a story asking where you draw the line in following orders, and where personal choice has to come to the fore. Chris Fox conjures up a fun expedition into space archaeology with the added threat of arms being pulled off.
There are a couple of disappointments in here - I found Just An Old-Fashioned Lust Story by Christopher J Valin to strain the suspension of disbelief with its tale of bounty hunters killing one another under the manipulation of a three-breasted beauty, while Piers Platt's Last Pursuit was going just fine until it ended all too soon.
There were three real stars in the collection for me, though - Adam Quinn's Procurement packs so much world building into its short tale of an emergency service for the stars struggling through the perils of bureaucracy that it feels like a whole movie packed into its length. Brilliant.
Nick Webb's Second Place could sit down and share a beer with the stories of Ray Bradbury, as it captures the home-spun drama of the second man to set foot on Mars, who hopes to become the first man to die there. The character work is fantastic, and it just feels like a wonderful, comfortable walk alongside the story's protagonist, as he sets about a landmark few would want to achieve.
But perhaps the story I salute the most is Anthea Sharp's One More Star, Shining. Inspired by the real world horrors of the Pulse shooting in Florida, she creates a universe of miners and those trying to outrun their dreams, all caught up in a moment of horror when an attack shatters the mining community. What makes the story so worthwhile is how it attempts to approach such horror, and examine the ways in which people deal with it. There is the horror of hope as you wish the pain would visit someone else, someone you don't know. There is the aftermath, and the attempt to understand how you can go on, and what is important. And for that, crafted in a short tale in the stars, Anthea Sharp deserves much credit.
Overall, the collection doesn't feel quite as strong as Dark Beyond The Stars - but that was a high bar to set, and it's not far behind. Series editor Patrice Fitzgerald is to be commended.
It’s difficult to pick favorites, but standouts included “Quarium” (E.E. Giorgi), “One More Shining Star (Anthea Sharp) and “Second Place” (Nick Webb).
(1) The Epsilon Directive, by David Bruns. David is one of my favorite authors. I follow his work religiously, and I have loved everything he has written. If you are new to his writing, buy his books and treat yourself to some great reads! This story is about - as he describes him - " a reluctant soldier, a closet conscientious objector, turned draftee" - who tries to do the right thing, and then is forced to watch it all fall apart - even asked to condone a horrible act. I won't give anything else away, but , after I read the story, I sat for a long time, trying to imagine being in his shoes while he tries to cope with his pain and disappointment. Yes, this is the story that made me cry, and to be moved that much - well, to me, that is worth ten stars! (Oh, I almost forgot that there is also a great miracle at the end - one known only to our hero - so it's not all sad). And, because of that, I loved this story even more!
(2) Second Chance, by Nick Webb. This story was fun and made me laugh. It follows the second man to step on Mars, who was so upset at being second that he hatches a plan to return many years later to the now-developed Mars colony in order to become the first man to die on the planet. Now don't be fooled by any morbidity that comes to mind, because as his plan unfolds, he is forced to make choices that keep him postponing his plans until - you guessed it - it is too late. It's almost a reversed Murphy's law scenario - if anything good can happen, it will - and I laughed as each choice arose to thwart his plans. I won't spoil the ending except to say that you will love it!
(3) The Quarium Wars, by E. E. Giorgio. In this story, a soldier lands on a planet, meaning to warn them of an impending invasion, only to have arrived too late and finding all life destroyed by his own people, who are trying to acquire the planet's Quarium - an element said to make nuclear weapons as mild as gun powder. As the story progresses, his own people try to kill him, and we find out more about his recent past. While trying to escape back to his ship, he comes across one survivor - a dog - which he rescues, and well . . . well, read the story, even if dogs aren't your second favorite species, because it has a really thrilling ending.
The rest of the stories are also good, but these were my favorites. I completely recommend this anthology to all!
Top reviews from other countries
The Q&A with the authors after each story is very enjoyable, each giving you an insight into what inspired them to write the story, their personality, and where to find more of their work.
For an anthology, there is always the possibility of story or two in the collection not quite hitting the spot, not quite at the same level as the rest. For me, there's no such worry here. Each of the stories, although very different from one another - in setting, pace, thematically etc - are all very well written, and really feel at home together in this collection.
I really enjoyed the stories. Fun to read with each able to be read in bite size chunks, therefore had the feeling of getting drawn into story more. Some I wished could have gone on a bit longer as I felt very invested in the characters and worlds within the stories, leaving me with a desire for more.
Overall, third time is definitely a charm as 'At Galaxy's Edge' is another great read from a great collection of writers in the 'Beyond The Stars' series. Whether you like Sci-fi or not, this is a great anthology of unique stories that will leave you wanting more.
My favourite stories were "the good food" and " the quarium wars".
At the beginning of the book we can find an introduction for each one of the stories to prepare the mood for our reading , each work is followed by few words on the author or a short interview and I believe is a nice touch.
To review an anthology is always difficult and I don't usually rate them more than 4 stars,but for the reasons above and the price I gave an extra star.
Each story intriguing and thought provoking
Shows what a waste mankind is Bigoted and destructive
Esp. And similar not suitab!e for YA reader ship. ENTERTZINING