Sunday, April 10, 2016

Trajectories, edited by Dave Creek

Find this book
(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.

Other Reviews: Search Web,

5 & 4 Stories: 0; Estimated Time: h:m (K words)
Recommended By Stories: 0; Estimated Time: h:m (K words)
Total Stories: 9;  Estimated Time: 3h:35m (65K words)
Read How to Use RSR on the right sidebar or this link to use this post.

Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

Rating: 3 -> Average

A Matter of Timing by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff  Time: 30m (Novelette)  IssueTrajectories 2016
(Space Opera) Sal tells the tale of how he saved the Emperor of the Supra Glutin Empire by arranging to buy time for him. Literally.
In Its Shadow by Martin L. Shoemaker  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueTrajectories 2016
(SF) From time immemorial, the Afin have worshiped The Sphere, but with the coming of science, there are those who want to study it as well.
Seeds by Mary A. Turzillo  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueTrajectories 2016
(SF) Annie plans to send the Chrysalis to start a colony in another star system. That this may take a few hundred thousand years is just a detail.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

Formal Charges by Jay Werkheiser  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueTrajectories 2016
(Hard SF) Brett helps maintain a particle beam that's accelerating a manned US interstellar vehicle. But something is wrong with the beam, and his team needs to fix it before it kills the astronauts.
High Jack by Bud Sparhawk  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueTrajectories 2016
(Hard SF) At 51, Phil is ready to take one last big risk and retire, so he leaves Mars to take a job supervising orbital construction on Amalthea at Jupiter.
The Adventures of Star Blazer by John F. Allen  Time: 11m (ShortStory)  IssueTrajectories 2016
(Space Opera) In 1959, Kofi works on the set of a Sci Fi melodrama, but he dreams of much more.
The Ghost Conductor of the Interstellar Express by Brad R. Torgersen  Time: 34m (Novelette)  IssueTrajectories 2016
(Hard SF) Colonists found New Olympia too hot and dry, so a team of comet-catchers diverts comets into the planet. Caddy wants to be one; her brother was one of the best. But he has disappeared.
Trajectories of the Heart by Arlan Andrews Sr.  Time: 25m (ShortStory)  IssueTrajectories 2016
(Science Fantasy) Francisco's flying a solo mission from low Earth orbit to Lunar orbit when his ship has a terrible accident, and he's go no one but himself to rely on.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

The Breath of Mars by Marianne J. Dyson  Time: 35m (Novelette)  IssueTrajectories 2016
(Hard SF) Thomas sees a shuttle carrying his friends crash on Mars. Help cannot arrive fast enough, so he sets out to rescue them himself.

Rating: Not Rated

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