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Time Pieces
ed. by Ian Whates

Sword Publishing ISBN: 978-0953819041

A confession... (or should that be a declaration?): I attended the convention that this anthology was born from, and it was the “best little small convention ever” to slightly misquote one of the Guests of Honour. Potential for bias aside, I found this collection very appealing - perhaps due to the fact that it contains stories by some of my favourite SF writers, including Ian Watson and Liz Williams (who has had stories published in this very magazine!); I have read and absolutely loved some of their other short stories, and they don't disappoint in this collection either. Liz Williams's Caer Cold, which opens the collection, left me shivering with its winterish detail. By way of contrast, Ian Watson's smile-inducing story is packed with his trademark witticisms.
All of the stories are very different, although most of them feature something about time in some respect. I hadn’t read anything by Sarah Singleton before, but her story, a kind of cross-genre thriller, reminded me me a little of Ira Levin, and I loved it. But there isn't a single dud amongst the other offerings; John Courtney Grimwood, Mark Robson and Ian Whates offer three very different and very enjoyable action stories, whereas Steve Baxter's story is amusingly strange, and Steve Cockayne's tale is simply brilliant, reminding me of Jasper Carrott's retort about rickets to people who go on about `the good old days'.
Time Pieces is an absolute gem of a story collection. My only misgiving is that there are only eight stories, but it is still a bit of a bargain!

Review by Donna Scott

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