October 02, 2002

Eternal Frontier, by James H. Schmitz

Over the last year, Baen Books has been publishing anthologies of all of Schmitz' published fiction; this is the penultimate book in the series. The previous anthologies collected his short stories and novellas in related series; this one collects everything else but his outstanding novel The Witches of Karres (which will be re-released in a few months).

A few of the stories in Eternal Frontier have been anthologized since their original magazine appearances; most have not, in some cases because the magazine folded shortly afterward, and nobody had ever heard of them. So there's likely to be something new here for all but the most hardcore Schmitz fans, and it was all new for me.

I wish I could say that I liked this volume as much as its predecessors, all of which have been great fun. On the other hand, I'm not sorry I bought it; some of the stories ("Crime Buff", "The Big Terrarium", and "Summer Guests", to name of a few) are very good. But this isn't where I'd start.

If you like science fiction at all, and you've not read any of these reissues, you owe it to yourself to pick up The Witches of Karres when it comes out. If you like that, I'd look for the first few books in this edition and only buy this one if you enjoyed those.

Posted by Will Duquette at October 2, 2002 05:31 PM