Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Review Tesseracts Eleven edited by Cory Doctorow & Holly Philips

Tesseracts Eleven

edited by Cory Doctorow & Holly Philips

EDGE science fiction & fantasy publishing

trade paperback 325 pp

Tesseracts Eleven is touted as bringing “the series to a new height, with a delightful blend of past and present writers, each with a unique vision of the future.” Mix in the talents of the editors Cory Doctorow a science fiction novelists, blogger etc and Holly Philips an editor for Canada's On Spec magazine and a author in her own right and you get the impression that you just might have an interesting collection of stories in your hand. The twist? Each story is by a Canadian author which gives a distinct “flavor” to the whole collection. The collection contains 24 top notch stories. In Cory's introduction he gives us his spin on Canadian fiction. “there's on thing ahat Canadian stories get right more than American stories.....we're good at looking at figuring out what makes other cultures tick.” And if you take nothing else away after reading this collection, it should be better insight into what makes other people tick.

That being said, what is my impression about the Tesseracts Eleven? First off, put away the “science fiction” moniker. In my mind these stories are not science fiction in the truest sense. But before you start throwing stones, let me say that the boarders are stretched here. This collection is a stunning example of speculative fiction. Stories like “ In Which Joe and Laurie Save Rock N' Roll” by Madeline Ashby can be taken as straight on Science Fiction, and in a strong sense so could Andrew Gray's “Tofino” which puts a wonderful spin on post apocalypse stories. But now your saying, well these ARE science fiction...and yes you have caught me out. But putting a science fiction label on this collection doesn't do it justice. “The Object of Worship” by Claude Lalumiere defies classification but is wonderful all the same. Or Jerome Stueart's “Bear With Me” which introduces us to weyr bear and a wonderful love story. So Tesseracts Eleven swings back and forth over the Science Fiction center line. Each swing pulls you back and forth on a wonderful ride. It's a “must read” recommendation from me.

Tesseracts Eleven can be purchased from the Edge Online catalog

or from Amazon

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