March 31, 2020

Review: Universe Between Edited by Dean Wesley Smith

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Note: once we’d returned from our travelling expedition last month, we arrived to an expected stack of review books from the past year. Though our current writing obligations demand that we can’t go full tilt back in the world of book reviewing, we thought we’d crank out the current stack we found on our doorstep as part of our summer reading. As a writer of both fiction and non-fiction ourselves, we feel that just about every book deserves a fair shake, especially if someone gave us the privilege and obligation to read and review em!

The fantastic is often were you find it. Adventure awaits in the realm of the very small, the very large, and in time frames too fast or slow to be perceptible to the human eye. We always love the idea that the strange and wonderful is always riding side-by-side with us through life, if we only know where to look for it…

The first book we grabbed off of the pile upon return was Fiction River’s Universe Between. Edited by series editors Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Katherine Rusch, the Fiction River series is an original anthology magazine presenting unique tales by exciting new authors.

If the name Kristine Katherine Rusch sounds familiar, it might be because she authored the Diving into the Wreck saga that we faithfully reviewed, including Skirmishes and Boneyards. She also authors horror, romance and mystery novels in addition to science fiction… we swear, she either never sleeps, or has perfected a way to clone herself…

Some of our favorite standout tales from the Universe Between were:

Are We Alone in the Universe? By Darcy Pattison addresses a long-asked question posed by SETI scientists with a not so straight forward answer. But what would we make of an alien species, looking to set up shop on the Earth? A great one for fans and ponderers of the Fermi paradox.

Slow World by Stephen Mohan, Jr. Is the speed of light limit in the universe a curse or a blessing? We can kind of see it both ways, as it might just keep alien species with ambitions of galactic conquest penned in… Slow World looks at the challenge of conquering the constant c in a unique story. It’s a major conceit that every Sci-Fi writer sooner or later has to overcome… how (or will) I incorporate faster-than-light travel?

Slow Answer by Lee Allred: We could almost make an anthology of “aliens find a Voyager/Pioneer style spacecraft” stories. Slow Answer provides a unique look at the consequences of leading E.T. to our door. Would you miss music if it vanished from the soundscape?

The Fiction River series is a wonderful mind-expanding read, and the Volume 8 Universe Between collection is a great place to start!

Next up for review in the queue: we’ll be taking a look at how to view the universe like a first rate astrophysicist with Explore the Cosmos like Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

There ‘s more to come in the review pipeline!


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