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Review: The Shining Cities

October 27, 2012

from Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Edited by Rebecca Buchanan

Until a couple of years ago I avoided reading short story anthologies…mostly because I found it very frustrating for a story to end without all my questions answered…or if it was really good, with no hope of seeing more of that fictional world.   After I had my son, my time was limited and so was my attention span, due to fatigue, among other things.  I could read a story or two while eating or during naps, etc.  Since then I’ve read a number of short story anthologies.  “The Shining Cities:  An Anthology of Pagan Science Fiction” is the best I’ve read in a long time.  I don’t think there was a story in it that I didn’t enjoy, which that alone is unusual.  So many of them leave me wanting more.  Below are some of my favorites.

Lies Truth and the Color of Faith” by Gerri Lein:  discusses a universe where Grandmother Spider directs intergalactic fleets through her children who can read the patterns on looms of light.  I would be very interested in seeing more from this universe.

1863 Antinous” by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus:  describes a universe in which superstitious spacers will go to any lengths to complete their mission…including forcing a rationalist into acting as the crew’s much needed polytheist.

All I Survey” by Jason Ross Inczauskis:  where a society revolves around the Gifts given to mortals by the gods on their 12th birthday…even to the extent that they prepare a child to take down a power-hungry ruler

Alexander’s Heart” by Rebecca Buchanan:  a space opera where the Pythia helps a ship survive by finding what was lost.

Initiate” by Inanna Gabriel:  where a self-aware computer discovers the gods by also conducts a virtual invocation…and receives an answer.

“If possible, we would ask you to purchase it through our online store or Smashwords since that will give Bibliotheca Alexandrina a higher portion of the royalties without changing the price for you. Why does that matter? Because all of the proceeds from The Shining Cities – as well as many of the other volumes in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina series – will be used to help promote the revival of the worship of the ancient Gods, with a portion of the proceeds given to worthy charitable organizations in their name.  So, not only will you be getting an imaginative collection of tales – but your money will be going to do good work and help the revival of ancient polytheistic religions.”


In the interest of honest disclosure:  I am on the Board of Directors for Bibliotheca Alexandrina.  However, I had no hand in  producing this book.



One Comment leave one →
  1. November 10, 2012 11:37 PM

    I was quite partial to The Fool… but I’m biased… 😉

    However I also enjoyed the Chicken Abductions story…


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