The Best of Pirate Writings: Tales of Fantasy, Mystery & Science Fiction, Vol. 1
Edited by Edward J. McFadden III
Padwolf Publishing, 219 pp.
Published in 1998, this Best Of collects stories from the first six years of McFadden’s highly acclaimed magazine, Pirate Writings. Don’t let the T&A cover fool you, this is a serious collection of stories from some of the finest writers in the genre; including Allen Steele, Paul Di Filippo, Esther Friesner, David Bischoff, Nancy Springer, Geoffrey Landis, Charles de Lint, and Roger Zelazny. McFadden has chosen thirty stories and poems to showcase in this volume (a second volume is set to be released this year) and they are, for the most part, all excellent choices. Some highlights: “Doblin’s Lecture” by Allen Steele and “Roadmaster” by Leland Neville are both startlingly unique stories of serial killers that grab you instantly. Roger Zelazny’s “Coming to a Cord” is an amusing Amber tale that takes place behind the scenes of the second series. And Paul di Filippo—one of my favorites—has two great whacked out surreal tales in here. “Bad Beliefs” is a fun exploitation of the “meme” concept, while “Leakage” is an old favorite of mine that would justify the purchase of this book on its own.