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Award winning independent Australian press coeur de lion publishing presents twenty nine all new science fiction stories of humanity’s adventures out there anywhere but Earth featuring original works by Margo Lanagan Sean McMullen Richard Harland and Kim Westwood among a galaxy of new and established Australian and overseas speculative fiction authors 728 pages


10 thoughts on “Anywhere but Earth

  1. says:

    Let me start off by saying that this book is not small Like ‘X6’ this latest anthology is in stark contrast to the svelte offerings of Twelfth Planet Press ‘Anywhere But Earth’ is a hearty meal to be digested slowly over days; weeks; monthsSo take your time and enjoy The stories are diverse and consistently top notch Like last year’s ‘Sprawl’ and this year’s ‘ASIM #51’ none of the stories stand out as an obvious cull and the potential for my least favourite to be someone else’s outstanding story of the year is obvious Bonus The type is not migraine inducingly small Bless you Coeur de LionSo what were my favourites?Out of 29 there were 5 that made me huggle the book in sheer delightIn Alan Baxter’s ‘Unexpected Launch’ a couple of cleaners as sole survivors of an alien attack provide first humour then a creeping claustrophobia culminating in view spoiler a horribly deliciously dark ending hide spoiler


  2. says:

    The first thing to say about the Anywhere but Earth anthology from Coeur de Lion Publishing is that it's a pretty damn thick slab of stories over 700 pages in paperback form There are 29 stories most of them short but at least a few straying up into novellete territory and most of them by Australian authors As is the style of the times it seems this hefty collection of science fiction is a themed anthology The title will give you the gist these are all stories set far from the human homeworld In many cases it's not mentioned at all and a handful don't deal with recognisably human characters at allUnusually in my experience for a book like this editor Keith Stevenson has not elected to insert himself in the work with an introductory foreword or in fact with commentary of any kind What you get for your money which is incredibly good value by the way are the stories and short author bios and nothing else I think it was the right call mind you these stories speak for themselvesAs with any collection of this size there are some stories that didn't work for me but overall the uality is exceptionally high To my undertrained scientific eye the vast majority pay reasonable attention to keeping the science plausible and consistent though one or two stretch the limits in order to shoot for a lyrical effect I'm thinking in particular here of Margo Lanagan's Yon Horned Moon As a reader I tend to be much concerned with good storytelling than strict fidelity to science however and Anywhere but Earth delivers There is such a wealth of appetising material here ranging from punchy little episodes like C J Paget's Pink Ice in the Jovian Rings and Alan Baxter's Unexpected Launch to troubling expansive landscapes of alien worlds like Lee Battersby At the End there was a Man and Chris McMahon's Memories of Mars to violent military thrillers like Jason Nahrung's Messiah on the Rock and Brendan Duffy's Space Girl BluesThe uality of this collection is frankly astonishing given its size there are only two I can think of that I didn't like at all and perhaps only two or three others about which I was ambivalent Of the rest I am hard pressed to pick a favourite but I will mention that Eating Gnashdal Jason Fischer's horrific vision of a post human culture is inventively funny and creepy; Penelope Love's SIBO lives somewhere at the intersection of zombies and triffids and therefore rules; and Sean McMullen's SPACEBOOK pulls off a view of near future social networking with a brilliant and unpleasantly plausible twist And I could mention at least a dozen stories which might be in my top three on a different dayAnywhere but Earth is a massive generous impressive tome The ideas on show are clever funny weird and sometimes deeply alien but almost invariably worth your reading time


  3. says:

    This is a contrib copy for me as it features my story Unexpected Launch However mine is only one of 29 stories in this 728 page epic tome of a sci fi anthology I think this book will go down as a must read in modern science fiction The scope of the stories and the talent of the contributing authors is astounding It really is a fantastic array of ideas and style If you’re a sci fi fan you’ll dig this book If you’re not it’s a great place to start And if you know someone who says they don’t like sci fi and you want to try to convert them buy them this book There were a handful of stories that didn’t really work for me but that’s the case with any anthology And this one has 29 stories so there’s definitely something for everyone and I would bet that the majority of people would really groove with the majority of stories in here Probably the standouts for me were Penelope Love’s SIBO William R D Wood’s Deuteronomy Robert Hood’s Desert Madonna Damon Shaw’s Continuity Brendan Duffy’s Space Girl Blues Angela Ambroz’s Pyaar Kiya and Steve Cameron’s So Sad The Lighthouse Keeper Although the real star of that last story is a secondary character In fact a brick


  4. says:

    This anthology is full of firsts for me It was first lunched at my first spec fic event just after I’d written my first short story It’s also the first science fiction I bought on my Kindle With all these first I’m glad to report that it is a first rate bookIt’s also a big book its physical size really stood out when I first saw it I’m actually glad I was able to buy it on Kindle Its size is because there are a lot of stories 27 in all With so many stories I’d expected to find some stories that I didn’t like but I didn’t There were some stories I thought I wasn’t going to like; for example a story that started with a single nude man on a beach and a love story with a time twist There were some stories I would have disliked if they weren’t so well written; for example a story with an almost two clever twist and an intergalactic sex parasite However most stories I just enjoyed from the start to finishJust as there were no bad stories no stories stood out as way above the rest There’s a nice balance no bad stories many very good stories no stories that over shadow the rest I did have a favourite It was a story of a man on a planet that has lost its stars who is sent by his boss to kill something in a town no one can findI’ve not mentioned any story titles on purpose If you want to know which stories I’m talking about buy the book


  5. says:

    This is a very impressive collection packed with short stories that are set uite literally anywhere but Earth It's rare to come across an anthology with no weak links especially one that's so long but I think Stevenson has managed to achieve this featMy favourite stories were SIBO by Penelope Love Rains of la Strange by Robert Stevenson and Messiah on the Rock by Jason NahrungVerdict definitely check this one out


  6. says:

    Brilliant brilliant brilliant It truly is like a wild tour of the voids beyond our own small ambit all manner of visions of the future of our species in an invigorating array of styles and approachesI have had a reading drought for the longest time and this collection of jewels everyone of the stories had been thrilling and rewarding and inspiring and instructive in the craft and in imaginationas re energised me not only to read but to write too


  7. says:

    At the recent NSW Writer's Centre Speculative Fiction Festival I attended the launch of this 29 story anthology produced by Coeur de Lion and edited by Keith Stevenson As the name implies Anywhere But Earth has stories based on mostly human exploration and colonisation of the galaxy with the only common theme that the stories are not set on EarthThere are a range of authors with a heavy weighting towards the antipodes There seems to be reasonable gender balance in the stories not uite 40% women authors by my count which isn't world's best but still a lot better than many anthologies Each story has a little author bio attached it did feel like a diverse range of authors had been includedCan I get out of the way early that I loved the stories contained within this book At the launch my appetite had been whetted by three strong readings by Richard Harland from An Exhibition of the Plague a great story about a visitor to a plague ridden colony The story twists at the end the outcome was interesting and a little disturbing Richard gave a dramatic rendition of the story at the reading with his usual theatrical flair Alan Baxter from Unexpected Launch  a couple of space cleaners are the only survivors from an unexplained disaster on their ship Mr Baxter provided good humour in the story and a satisfying ending what else can you ask for? Margo Lanagan from Yon Horned Moon about a space courier and a close encounter  Ms Lanagan did a beautiful reading showcasing her flair for language To be honest I actually preferred hearing the story read than reading it myself The prose had a rhythm to it that I found hard to recapture in my head when I was reading the story but while listening to Ms Lanagan read it flowed beautifully almost poetically This very possibly says a lot about the lack of poetry in my soul than anything about Ms Lanagan's writingGiven the strength of the readings I was anticipating a good book However I was surprised at the strength of all the stories While obviously I enjoyed some stories than others there wasn't one that I didn't enjoy on some level I've mentioned a couple of stories specifically below that were particularly noteworthy or had some element I wanted to comment onThe opening story is Murmer by Calie Voorhis I read one of Calie's stories recently in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine issue #51 and really liked it This was uite a different style of story exploring the nomadic lifestyle of intergalactic diplomacy and the desire to put down roots in this case uite literallyBeautiful by Cat Sparks was memorable not just for the uality of the writing but also as one of the few stories that was completely human lessI enjoyed the world created in Rains of la Strange by Robert N Stephenson It had the feel of a larger universe only glimpsed I liked the clockwork style of the protagonist and the action scenes felt well written to me I was a little ambivalent about the ending the pursuit of real emotions by emotionlesscontrolled mechanical beings is a little overdone in modern sci fi But despite my hesitation at those kinds of story lines I still liked this taleContinuity by Damon Shaw had an interesting plot with a good interplay between a ship AI and what remains of the human crewPoor Man's Travel by Patty Jansen was a good story about mind swapping to escape the boredom of interstellar travel and the perils of offers that are too good to be true I liked the ending of this one And Ms Jansen was kind enough to sign my copy of the book at the launchI was partial to By Any Other Name by Kim Westwood I won't give too much away about the story but the slow reveal was well executed and the nature of the inhabitants of the world described was good I'm looking forward to reading Ms Westwood's latest work The Courier's New Bicycle soonSpace Girl Blues by Brendan Duffy was another slow reveal story exploring some interesting possibilities in cloning and warfare The ending to this story appealed to meMessiah on the Rock by Jason Nahrung Space marines fighting space vampires Enough saidAs well as the stories mentioned above there was also Hatchway by Simon Petrie At the End There Was a Man by Lee Battersby Maia Blue is Going Home by Liz Argall Memories of Mars by Chris McMahon Pink Ice in the Jovian Rings by CJ Paget SIBO by Penelope Love Beneath the Floating City by Donna Maree Hanson Lisse by Erin E Stocks Deuteronomy by William RD Wood Desert Madonna by Robert Hood Psi World by Steve de Beer Alien Tears by Wendy Waring Eating Gnashdal by Jason Fischer Oak with the Left Hand by TF Davenport Spacebook by Sean McMullen The Caretaker by Mark Rossiter Pyaar Kiya by Angela Ambroz So Sad the Lighthouse Keeper by Steve CameronThis is one of the better anthologies that I've read in some time Strongly recommended


  8. says:

    Katharine is a judge for the Aurealis Awards This review is the personal opinion of Katharine herself and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel the judging coordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team To be safe I won't be recording my review here until after the AA are overI can see how this would appeal to others but I found myself skipping through most


  9. says:

    Beautiful by Cat Sparks 4 stars very goodMaia Blue is Going Home Liz Argall 40 stars Argh Frustratingly showing all signs of potential greatness Strange cool idea but needs coherence so readers can understand the ideas


  10. says:

    This is a great collection of stories set on not Earths My favourites were Alien Tears by Wendy Waring and Eating Gnashdal by Jason Fischer