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The Mammoth Book of New Jules Verne Adventures
edited by Mike Ashley and Eric Brown
Carroll & Graf Publishers, 498 pages

Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley (Michael Raymond Donald Ashley) was born in 1948. He is the author and editor of over sixty books that have sold over a million copies worldwide. He lives in Chatham, Kent.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Gernsback Days

Eric Brown
Eric Brown lives in Haworth in West Yorkshire. His novels include The Virex Trilogy (Penumbra, Meridian Days, Engineman, Untouchable and Walkabout -- the latter two for young adults), and the collections The Time-Lapsed Man and Blue Shifting. He is a regular and popular contributor to Interzone magazine.

Eric Brown's Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Approaching Omega
SF Site Review: Bengal Station
SF Site Review: New York Nights
SF Site Review: New York Blues
SF Site Review: Parellax View
SF Site Review: Bengal Station

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steven H Silver

The Mammoth Book of New Jules Verne Adventures For an author as widely known as Jules Verne, his reputation rests on relatively few books. The Mammoth Book of New Jules Verne Adventures, an anthology of stories edited by Mike Ashley and Eric Brown, contains stories based on Verne's writings, not just his most popular books, but his most esoteric ones as well.

Most of the stories are based on Verne's writing, although a few, such as the opening tale, "A Drama on the Railway" by Stephen Baxter, pull from Verne's life and times, or at least his potential life and times. The majority of the stories, however, use Verne's own writing as a jumping off point. These stories are arranged in chronological order based on when Verne wrote the original tale.

Fortunately, editors Ashley and Brown have chosen to include brief discussions of each of the relevant works before each story. This gives the reader the necessary background for Verne's previously unread work or reminders for those works which the reader has read. Many of the authors have chosen to play with the theme. Not only does Verne appear in stories, but other Victorian characters, both fictional and historical, appear in several of the tales.

The most successful tales in The Mammoth Book of New Jules Verne Adventures are those which take Verne's stories as a starting point and try to provide background or explanations which Verne did not include. Michael Mallory adds depth to Verne's most mysterious character, Captain Nemo, by exploring his background in "The Secret of the Nautilus."

Not all of the stories are directly based on Verne's writing. Justina Robson's "The Adventurers' League" clearly is a thematic and stylistic descendant for Verne's voyages extraordinaire, but relies on Robson's own creation of a world and character while she pays homage to Verne. As with the stories which are deeper explorations of Verne's characters, Robson's tale stands out for its creativity and originality.

Reading through The Mammoth Book of New Jules Verne Adventures gives the reader the desire to search out and pick up the books and stories originally written by Verne, surely one of the goals of the editors. For while these tales can be enjoyed on their own (or at least with the help of the editorial introductions), they are most assuredly enjoyed all the more with a knowledge of the source material.

Copyright © 2005 Steven H Silver

Steven H Silver is a four-time Hugo Nominee for Best Fan Writer and the editor of the anthologies Wondrous Beginnings, Magical Beginnings, and Horrible Beginnings (DAW Books, January, February and March, 2003). In addition to maintaining several bibliographies and the Harry Turtledove website, Steven is heavily involved in convention running and publishes the fanzine Argentus.

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