Anniversary DAW Science Fiction Anthology
Ed. by Elizabeth R. Wollheim and Sheila E Gilbert
List Price: $24.95
Hardcover - 432 pages (May 2002)
Review by Ernest Lilley
Check out this book at:
Also this issue:
30th Anniversary DAW
trust anyone over 30 was the battle cry when DAW was born three decades
ago, and we've come a long way over those years...closing out the last
century with the admonishment not to trust anyone.
What's that got to do with DAW? Nothing. And that's
what's so great about them.
DAW, was founded by Donald A. Wolheim in 1971, after
nineteen and a half years as the Editor-In-Chief of Ace books, whose
paperback line he had convinced the owner of Ace publications to start
in 1952. He left Ace when "big business" took away the personal element
of publishing, when Ace became part of the establishment.
When he left Ace, he didn't know what
he was going to do next, but he left to defend a principle, and he never
abandoned it. With little more than his reputation as an editor, he got
Herb Schall of New American Library to give him a home for his own
publishing house. Herb told Donald that he could write his own ticket,
and that agreement provided the basis from which DAW's style sprung, and
has been maintained over the last three decades.
This collection of short stories by DAW's authors is
much more than an anthology. Together with the introduction written by
the current editors of DAW, Donald's Daughter Elizabeth Wolhiem and her
friend Shelia Gilbert, and frontpieces to each of the stories, some by
the authors, some by the editors it's a tribute to Don Wolhiem, and a
survey of his legacy.
is an anthology, and it's got some great stories which stand on their
own, little surprise considering the crop of authors that DAW grew over
In "The Plauge Wars" Brian Stableford
looks forward to the collapse of the next investing bubble, this one
driven by biotech and the drive to protect ourselves against viral
attack in the face of mounting genetically engineered threats like the
hyper-flu and neurotoxic Human Mosic Virus. His story asks what
the costs of safety are, and who is at risk in the dangerous future
we're about to enter.
Ron Goulart's "Odd Job #213" is a
delightful bit of catnip that would amuse any fan of noir detective
stories or Asmiovian robotics, though it's not constrained by either.
C.J. Cherryh tells us how she got her
name misspelled and entertains us with a tale of a deepspace chatroom in
"The Sandman, The Tinman, and the BettyB".
Timothy Zahn shows that seeing is a
matter of perspective in a clever little story called "The Big Picture"
in which you really do need to step back to see the forest for the
trees...especially from orbit.
Frederik Pohl serves up a juicy
tidbit from his HeeChee stories with a visit to "A Home For The Old
Ones" in which we get to spend some time with our ancestors on the new
C.S. Friedman pays a visit to an
aging relative as well in "Downtime." What can it cost to spend a little
time with your aging mother after all she's done for you. What indeed.
Tad Williams uploads a truly chilling
bit of computer fiction when chatrooms meet the Vingian singularity in
"Not With A Whimper, Either"
Ian Watson's "The Black Wall Of
Jerusalem" had better be part of a larger work, even though it stands
quite well on it's own. Why? So I can find out what happens next, of
course. It's about a poet who searches for his muse, and much to his
horror, finds it.
I'd never read Charles Harness,
though he published his first story in 1948 and is still writing. Now
that I've read his Jupiter adventure "Station Ganymede" I know I'll have
to go back and find out what I've been missing.
My favorite piece of the collection
is "Words" by Cheryl J. Franklin, which considers the implications of
who owns who, pets or masters...and what it means when the common
housecat isn't common at all.
All told there are nineteen different
stories in this collection, nineteen different visions of what SF is
from the family that Donald Wolheim created. That they cover a wide
range of styles and themes is to be expected. DAW never worked to a
formula, and yet within these covers is proof positive that it has
worked well because of that.
can only hope the 60th Anniversary collection is as good.