Sunday, April 10, 2016

Trajectories, edited by Dave Creek

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(SF) All the writers in this volume had a single assignment--tell us a story in any genre, in any mood, as long as it takes place in space or on an alien planet.--Dave Creek, editor. (64,600 words; Time: 3h:35m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆, Not Recommended

"Trajectories," edited by Dave Creek, published on by .

An Editorial Failure

Quality of the Book

There are so many problems with the Kindle version of the anthology (the only currently available format) that it would be impossible to recommend this book to anyone, even if the quality of the stories had been acceptable.

Problems include:
  • Over 100 typos of the sort of spelling checker would have found.
  • The table of contents provided by the goto button lists names of authors not names of stories.
  • Missing line breaks in dialogue that make it impossible to tell who is speaking.
  • Simple grammar errors.
  • Fully 50% of one story is in italics due to a formatting error.

Even the editor's comments contain errors. Either the editor never read through the Kindle version once it was compiled or else he just didn't care.

Quality of the Stories

Beyond merely proofreading and formatting the book, an editor is responsible for choosing good stories in the first place, but the same lack of attention seems to have applied to the selection of stories. Out of nine stories, six are bad, three are mediocre, and none is recommended.

Problems include:
  • Unnatural dialogue.
  • Narration that editorializes or which "tells" emotions rather than showing them.
  • Characters whose behavior defies belief.
  • Hard SF stories that don't bother to get their physics right.
  • Hard SF that turns into fantasy without warning.
  • Stories that simply stop rather than ending.

Although different people do have different tastes, it is difficult to imagine recommending this book to anyone.

Here's an interview with Dave Creek on SF Signal.

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