The beauty of any “best of” collection is that it allows the reader to experience the full expanse of the author’s writing and story telling. And, if the collection is indeed worth its (literal) weight, then the book will hopefully have some small treasure, a story unfamiliar to the reader, even if the reader is one of the author’s biggest fans. That was true of The Very Best of Tad Williams (see my November 13, 2013 blog post); and it holds true on my most recent project, The Very Best of Kate Elliott, both from Tachyon Publications.
Regardless of the source of these stories, they are all as varied, and finely crafted, as the anthologies in which they originally appeared. My favorite story would have to be “A Simple Act of Kindness,” which originally appeared in The Shimmering Door, edited by Katharine Kerr (HarperPrism, 1996). The story of Daniella, a young girl who, in some ways, feels safer out in a storm at night – even a night and a storm such as this – searching for lost sheep, than at home with her family (not the least of which is “her cousin Robert, who had been pestering her for months now, ever since her first bleeding came on her”).
Lastly, I hope you are as knocked out by Julie Dillon’s cover art as I am. In a one-pager entitled “About the Cover Art” in the book, Kate Elliott states that Dillon’s art illustrates a passage from Cold Steel (Book 3 in the author’s Spiritwalker Trilogy).
Read the rest of Halpern’s post at More Red Ink.
For more info on The Very Best of Kate Elliott, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Julie Dillon. Design by Elizabeth Story.