18 January, 2010

Anthology Review: Warriors, edited by GRRM


Warriors, the highly anticipated anthology edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois will hit shelves in March. Mr. Martin best describes the anthology: "You will find warriors of every shape, size, and color in this pages, warriors from every epoch of human history, from yesterday and today and tomorrow and worlds that never were. Some of the stories will make you sad, some will make you laugh, many will keep you on the edge of your sear." Indeed, Mr. Martin is right on point with his overall description - I found warriors to be a true wonder in both its diversity and talent. The masterful explorations of the warrior archetype will delight fans of any genre, and are sure to titillate even the most hardened veterans of speculative fiction.

The three pieces which follow are my favorites so far in the anthology - all are gritty and bloody, showcasing a fair measure of violence, wit, and emotion.

Soldierin', by Joe Landsdale:

In this daringly nifty piece of historical fiction, Mr. Landsdale brings us back to the old days of slavery and American expansion into the West. Meet an escaped slave headed to sign up as a Buffalo Soldier after narrowly escaping an old fashioned lynching. The tone of the story is reminiscent of Abercrombie in his First Law trilogy - dark and ironic with a healthy abundance of sarcasm masked as humor. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the tale, at least for me, is the protagonist's world view and the casual familiarity with which racist epithets - and racism -abound. A true cowboys and indians frontier story, Soldierin' will delight, amaze, and leave one hoping for an expanded novella on the part of Mr. Landsdale.

Dirae, by Peter S. Beagle:

Unique in its structure, Dirae is a dreamscape like staccato narrative of a hero in the truest sense; a being who exists only in the moments of greatest need to protect the innocent and punish evil. Part superhero quest and journey of self-discovery, Dirae holds more twists than is proper for such a short story, showcasing a profound sense of loss and sorrow that seems all to personal. Peter S. Beagle is undoubtedly a modern master of the short story who has once again amazed me with his raw skill and daring narrative style. I would give this one three thumbs up, but physically that would be a bit awkward.

The Triumph, by Robin Hobb:

Brutal and bloody, The Triumph is a story of friendship, honor, and courage in an age in which warriors dreamed and lived for glory - to be remembered - and where mythical beasts roamed the land. The story, more than anything, highlights the timeless bond between warriors that is forged in the heat of battle, that endures unto, and even beyond, death. In a historical sense, Mr. Hobb highlights a worldview that is long extinct, and was perhaps even doomed to extinction from the start. Gruesome and bloody, Triumph is a story of a bond broken and friendship lost, but a memory sustained. Highly recommended and second only to Mr. Beagle's Dirae at this point.

... to be continued.

18 comments:

Seak said...

That sounds soooo cool. I gotta get me that. Thanks for the heads up.

Bryce
seaks.blogspot.com

Alec said...

Heres a fun surprise for you Seak... so did three other people!

Seak said...

Doh! Eh, it's still a good one and totally worth it. :)

Ran said...

One small note: Robin Hobb is a woman. :)

Alec said...

Duly noted Ran! My apologies to the author.

Anonymous said...

The sequel to "Soldierin'," "Hide and Horns," appeared online in the Spring 2009 issue of SUBTERRANEAN, and is still accessable there.


--Gardner Dozois

Alec said...

Thanks for stopping by Mr. Dozois! I just finished your story in the anthology and enjoyed the twist. Curious to know if you have any favorites... if you are allowed to.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Mr. Hobb? Can no one do a goggle search to determine the sex of an author before we write a review anymore?

Seak (Bryce L.) said...

Can't anyone write a comment after reading all the ealier comments anymore?

Sorry, snarkiness matching snarkiness is never good, but i couldn't resist. :)

Lee Ee Leen said...

I just ordered this book. Can't wait for it !

wow, you had Gardner Dozios commenting! Nice one!

http://e6n1.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Sorry Seak (Bryce L.) it was 1 O'clock in the morning. Long day.

Seak (Bryce L.) said...

Haha, and I hope you know I was completely messing around.

Snarky comments are always appreciated around here. I actually won extra giveaway entries for snarky comments I made. :) It's true.

Alec said...

Ohhh, a snarky discussion gone awry!

It is true anon that the blog encourages snark as long as commentators understand that it is all in good fun and no harm was intended. I even go so far as to post the snarkiest snark that comes in with the giveaways and offer up bonus entries for the best of it.

That said, I did make the gender mistake and promptly apologized... because evry 1 knowz dat men write bettar dan women.

Anonymous said...

Editors aren't allowed to have favorite stories from their anthologies--although they do--anymore than parents are allowed to have favorite children (although they do).

--Gardner Dozois

Alec said...

I knew it, you want to pick your story!

ediFanoB said...

Ant bloooger ewen wriete bedder thän meen :)

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