Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Review: Who Can Save Us Now?

When it comes to prose fiction, I've always enjoyed a good anthology. I don't have enough time to get embroiled in any huge, Tolkeinesque epics these days, but short stories are a great way to sample new authors and see how they respond to a shared writing challenge. I've enjoyed many a science fiction anthology, several horror anthologies, and even a few with just ordinary people doing normal stuff in my reading career, and I've found that while none are perfect, it is generally hard for an editor to make a really bad anthology. Who Can Save Us Now? is one of the good ones.

Between these covers you'll find the Rememberer, the Meerkat, and the Quick Stop 5 (among whom is included perhaps the greatest superhero of all, Slim Tim, the human beef jerky man) and dozens of others. Their stories range from bittersweet to wacky in tone, but all explore the idea of ordinary world look at superpowers. Other highlights include:

Stephanie Harrel's "Girl Reporter", which takes a more cynical, adult look at a Superman/Lois Lane type of relationship.

"Nate Pickney-Alderson, Superhero" by Elizabeth Crane is an amusing spin on childhood hero worship with a little boy who worships and dresses like his favorite superhero...unremarkable physics teacher Bob Brown.

"Remains of the Night" looks at the relationship between a superhero and his butler, when the superhero in question dresses like a giant Silverfish and eats paste.

Who Can Save Us Now? was a welcome new addition to my bookshelf. If you like oddball superheroes, sci-fi anthologies, or short bursts of new fiction, give it a try. A copy of Who Can Save Us Now? was provided to this website for review.


3 comments:

Blake said...

Looks interesting! Reminds me a little of the anthology by John Varley (Superheroes).

austin said...

wow, great review..........


did you really deserve a free copy for this?

LurkerWithout said...

Yep, does sound a bit like the Varley anthology. I'll have to add this to my list...