Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Best of Walter Jon Williams

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The Best of Walter Jon Williams is a new collection of short fiction (mostly novella length) by speculative fiction veteran Walter Jon Williams. Due out 28th Feb 2021 from Subterranean Press, it's 616 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats. 

I enjoyed every single story in this collection; there were no weak ones.  All of these have been published previously and date from 1986 through 2014. Many of the stories are quite difficult to find and several were new to me in any form. One reason I prefer collections and anthologies is that short fiction is really challenging.  It's spare and the author doesn't have a wealth of wordage to develop characters or the plotting.  Well written short fiction is a delight. I also love collections because if one story doesn't really grab me, there's another story just a few pages away.  I can only recall a few times where I've read a collection (or anthology) straight through from cover to cover.  This one I did. I even re-read the stories which I had read before. 

Although the stories are strong and the collection is worthy of consideration on its own merits, the author and publisher have included story notes at the end of the book which added a lot of enjoyment for me. I love seeing what the author used for inspiration and other behind-the-scenes glimpses and recollections. 

Very enjoyable interlude - well written and engaging. Reading is an escape and sanity saver in the current world climate and it's nice to be able to escape in a vehicle which is well built, comfortable, and exciting.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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