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THE STARRY RIFT by Jonathan Strahan


Tales of New Tomorrows

edited by Jonathan Strahan

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-06059-7
Publisher: Viking

This compendium of short stories springs from a wonderful premise: Encourage young readers to open up their imaginations to science fiction with tales told by some of the leading writers of the genre. Unfortunately, this bulky volume does not live up to the promise. Only Neil Gaiman’s odd little story “Orange” reaches out to grab the reader, with a narrative told entirely in answers to a written questionnaire. Science fiction is a genre that requires readers to believe what is often beyond their immediate reality. To do that well often means taking time to build characters, situations and environment; the craft does not necessarily translate well when moved to the tight venue of short stories. These writers are well-known professionals, with great works to their credit, but their efforts work best in longer narratives. Young readers would be better served with full-length books by such practitioners as Kenneth Oppel and Eoin Colfer. (Science fiction/short stories. 12+)