An attempt to harness the magic of mid-century science fiction is mostly fun, with a few exceptions, in Bascomb’s second Far Orbit collection. There are a few gems among the 13 stories, including Julie Frost’s “The Affairs of Dragons,” which is an utterly charming Firefly-esque tale about a space captain and his crew that take on very unusual cargo: a clutch of dragon eggs that must be kept safe at all costs, but when they hatch, the crew find themselves in the middle of a dragon clan war and a wily bunch of tiny, hungry fire-breathers.
There's more, but, uh. They mention my story first and call it "utterly charming." Aaaaaaaahhhhh.
Speaking of Awesome Things, the Monsters Storybundle is still going for a few days. If you haven't picked up your collection of completely awesome monster books, don't wait too long, because once it's gone, it's gone!
Two of the offerings are of particular interest to the lovers of prehistoric life. Here's a couple of blurbs for you:
Jurassic Dead by David Sakmyster and Rick Chesler
An Antarctic research team hoping to study microbial organisms in an underground lake discovers something far more amazing: perfectly preserved dinosaur corpses. After one thaws and wakes ravenously hungry, it becomes apparent that death, like life, will find a way. Environmental activist Alex Ramirez, son of the expedition's paleontologist, came to Antarctica to defend the organisms from extinction, but soon learns that it is the human race that needs protecting.
Mammoth Dawn by Kevin J. Anderson and Gregory Benford
Extinction is not permanent. Not anymore.
Multi-millionaire researcher Alex Pierce has developed cutting-edge genetic techniques to extract viable DNA from preserved samples of breathtaking species that humans have erased from the Earth. From passenger pigeons and Tasmanian tigers, to Pleistocene dire wolves and sabretooths... even the humble dodo.
The cornerstone of Alex's dream is to resurrect the woolly mammoth. Majestic and massive, these creatures no longer roam the world, driven to extinction by ancient hunters. At his isolated Pleistocene Ranch in the wilds of Montana, Alex has actually bred the very first mammoth to walk the Earth in 10,000 years.
But there are those who believe what is extinct should remain extinct, and that any tampering goes against the laws of nature. And their fervor may be far stronger than Alex's dreams.
Mammoth Dawn is the original acclaimed novella written by New York Times bestseller and Hugo and Nebula Award nominee Kevin J. Anderson and multiple Hugo and Nebula winner Gregory Benford; this volume also includes their detailed chapter-by-chapter treatment of the full novel the two authors originally envisioned, as well as a non-fiction overview of current scientific attempts to clone mammoths—a reality that may be much closer than you think.
Pick up your storybundle! Tell your friends! Give authors a good paycheck! You know you want to...