Thursday, November 12, 2009

StarShipSofa Stories Volume One

Tony C. Smith (ed.), StarShipSofa Stories, volume one, 2009.

Available in several hard cover and paperback formats from print-on-demand sites and also as a free e-book.

One of my favourite podcasts, StarShipSofa (available on iTunes), has brought out an anthology of 15 stories that have been narrated on the podcast.

StarShipSofa is a weekly science fiction magazine. Each podcast features an editorial, a poem, flash fiction, short fiction and various fact articles. It is presented by Tony C. Smith, whose Newcastle accent takes some getting used to. His charm and enthusiasm pervade the entire podcast, and especially its sibling-podcast, the Sofanauts, a weekly science fiction round table, where Tony discusses SF issues with two or three guests.

This volume contains a varied selection from the stories featured in the podcast. It is designed to look like a pulp-era SF magazine, and contains images of old advertisements. The attention devoted to the visual aspects of the volume complements the quality of the writing, making the book into more than just a short story collection. It has character.

I won't review the various stories here. Some of them I have heard on the podcast, while others were probably featured before I started subscribing. The wide range of styles and subject matter means that there should be something for everyone, and this book could serve as a good introduction to short SF for new readers.

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