Cosmic Powers: The Saga Anthology of Far-Away Galaxies by John Joseph Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
John Joseph Adams pretty much has the golden touch as an editor. I own several of his anthologies, and they've consistently been among the better SFF collections out there. This book definitely follows in that tradition. Some of these stories are outrageously over-the-top (in keeping with the bright, eye-watering cover art), but that is part of the theme, and the charm, of this book.
The standout story in this anthology, so far, seems to be "Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance," Tobias S. Buckell's far-future, sprawling space opera that is at the same time an intense character study. Seanan McGuire contributes a story with equal parts humor and hard science (hers takes place inside a Dyson sphere), and Aliette de Bodard's tale of war and the price civilians pay is heartbreaking. My second favorite story is probably "Warped Passages," Kameron Hurley's excellent prequel/origin story to her fantastic space opera The Stars Are Legion. (If you're going to read new-to-you authors based on this collection, start with Buckell and Hurley.) But there's something for everyone here, and while I liked some stories less than others, there's not a stinker in the bunch.
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