Review of CB Droege, ed., Starward Tales II (Manawaker Studio, 2017). Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.
This anthology, the second in Manawaker Studio’s “Starward Tales” series, is a collection of “speculative legends”, retellings of legends, myths, and fairy tales as science fiction stories. Each story is accompanied by a map with a pin on it,
showing the approximate location of the origin of the story that inspired the work. However, many story origins are in dispute, and often an arbitrary line must be drawn to say where in history a story became the story we know today.
In addition to stories, the collection also features poetry and artwork, some newly commissioned pieces, some out-of-copyright pieces from the previous centuries, all wrapped up in a cover beautifully illustrated by Monica Rose Song. If I have one complaint about the production of the book, it is the use of straight quotes rather than “smart” quotes throughout. It’s a minor point to raise, but it detracts from the aesthetic of reading the stories, and given contemporary typesetting tools, it is not difficult to avoid. There are also a handful of places throughout where the book could have benefited from more thorough proof-reading — a missing period on p. 113, the misspelling of “pseudo” as “psuedo” on p. 114, the wrong type of dash on p. 136, extraneous capitalization on p. 241, some incorrect page references in the table of contents. Any one of these is minor, but too many of them and the result becomes less professional.
Below is a list of the contents; I will review each story individually and when the reviews are published, link to them from this post.
- “Drop”, by D. A. D’Amico
- “All for Beauty and Youth”, by Kelly A. Harmon
- “Ashes”, by Mike Lewis
- “Hills Like Teeth”, by Michael Harris Cohen
- “The Fall of Tyros”, by Eddie D. Moore
- “Goldilocks and the Three Empty Cryopods”, by Dianne Williams
- “Steadfast”, by R. W. W. Green
- “The Siege of Battle-Station Camelot”, by Patrick S. Baker
- “The Signal”, by Halli Lilburn
- “Poison_apple.exe”, by Chanel Earl
- “Doorways to Death”, by Dick Yaeger
- “Seeds of Discord”, by Tod McCoy
- “The Boy with the Golden Scales”, by Ashleigh Gauch
- “The Suited Prince”, by CB Droege
- “Failsafe”, by Karen Bovenmyer
All the poetry is reviewed in one post.
- “Chained”, by Vonnie Winslow Crist
- “Girl in the Red Hood”, by Richard King Perkins II
- “Icarus”, by María Castro Domínguez
- “Penelope Longing for Odysseus”, by Vonnie Winslow Crist
- “Beauty, Sleeping”, by Marsheila Rockwell