Praise for Clockwork Phoenix 3
Also on the shelves is Clockwork Phoenix 3: New Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, edited by Mike Allen, a mixed slipstream/fantasy/science fiction anthology of original stories. The stories here are elegantly written, as usual, but, somewhat disappointingly for me, the ratio of SF to slipstream/fantasy continues to slip; the original Clockwork Phoenix was divided almost equally between SF and the other genres, but, as was also true of Clockwork Phoenix 2, there’s not much science fiction here anymore, and not even really that much fantasy, slipstream having pretty much taken over.
The three SF stories include John C. Wright’s “Murder in Metachronopolis,” a hugely complex time-paradox tale, the best SF story in the book, a stealth far-future story, John Grant’s “Where Shadows Go at Low Midnight,” and Cat Rambo’s “Surrogates,” a satirical piece about the mores of the future that reminds me a bit of the “Urban Monad” stories that Robert Silverberg used to write in the ‘70s. The best of the fantasy stories are “Hell Friend,” by Gemma Files, and “Braiding the Ghosts,” by C.S. E. Cooney. The strongest story in the anthology overall is Gregory Frost’s “Lucyna’s Gaze,” a disquieting story of future genocide that dances on the razor-edge between science fiction and fantasy.
My comment: there are two reasons why you should heed the opinion of Gardner Dozois, and rush right out today and buy nine copies of this books. First, he is one of the most esteemed editors of the science fiction field. Second, no one can pronounce his last name. It has a z in it, and could be French, but on the other hand, it could be Martian or something more exotic, so it is best not to startle him by disagreeing with his judgment, lest unexpected and inexplicable events occur.