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Inherit The Earth
edited by Stewart Wieck
White Wolf Publishing, 288 pages

Inherit The Earth
Stewart Wieck
Stewart Wieck is the co-founder and co-owner of White Wolf. He began in 1986 by producing White Wolf Magazine with his brother Steve; he then went on to co-design the World of Darkness with major contributions to Vampire: The Masquerade (and minor ones to Werewolf: The Apocalypse), before leading the design of Mage: The Ascension in 1993. For the last several years, he has led White Wolf's fiction publishing efforts and has edited a number of volumes of World of Darkness fiction.

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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Lisa DuMond

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The only impression some readers have of role-playing games is closed rooms at SF conventions and the unwashed participants who emerge at the end of the con to wander back home. Okay, there is some truth to that, but through Inherit The Earth you will learn that there is so much more. The entries in this Hunter: The Reckoning anthology stand up to some of the best fiction being produced today. Remember, it all springs from a strong, solid story with endless possibilities.

For me, it was the name Stefan Petrucha on the table of contents that was the primary attraction to this collection. Petrucha's "The Treatment of Dr. Eberhardt" more than lives up to expectations, but it is only the first in an impressive parade of loosely linked short stories. A tale of creepy obsession and ruthless protection, it is the perfect introductory piece, setting the dark, harrowing tone for the rest of the volume. Childhood, like innocence, is a luxury no one can afford in the world of Hunter.

Inside the covers of Inherit The Earth, the world is divided into three groups: the Undead, the imbued Hunters, and everything else is... prey.

"Credo" by Eric Griffin puts more of a techno-spin on the subject, allowing readers to infer the action only through the narrow windows of emails, in an exchange where good and bad are far from obvious distinctions. James Stewart's short, brutal "The Names of The Dead" examines what one mass murderer referred to as "collateral damage" and its place in the new world order.

Two stories reflect on the past's undying influence on the present and the unthinkable future. "Closure," Andrew Bates' contribution, takes a look at some very human emotions that survive the boundaries of death and undeath. And trust David Niall Wilson to breathe life into a grim tale of a twisted love through the dusty pages of history and to propose a new union in its place.

The lethal nature of this final war is brought home in the grisly "Antibodies" by Michael Lee, Richard Lee Byer's locked-room "Unusual Suspects," and Dominic Von Riedemann's "Lucimal's Heart." The last is not suggested for the weak of stomach, by the way. But, it is the aptly titled "The Frailty of Humans" that exposes the raw nerves of the battle and the true toll of suffering. Gherbod Fleming's moving story is a quiet, sorrowful silence in the fury of the storm.

Often, it is difficult to detect the hand of the editor in the finished product, but it is unlikely Inherit The Earth would have the come out to be the seamless showpiece it is without strong direction. Each of the stories adds to the whole, but still stands on its own. For selecting, shaping, and guiding these stories, Wieck, well done. Very well done.

Copyright © 2001 Lisa DuMond

In between reviews, articles, and interviews, Lisa DuMond writes science fiction and humour. DARKERS, her latest novel, was published in August 2000 by Hard Shell Word Factory. She has also written for BOOKPAGE and PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. Her articles and short stories are all over the map. You can check out Lisa and her work at her website hikeeba!.


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