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Zodiac Fantastic
edited by Martin H. Greenberg and A. R. Morlan
DAW Books, 346 pages

Zodiac Fantastic
About the Editors
Martin H. Greenberg is the most prolific anthologist in publishing history. He has won the Milford Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science Fiction Editing and was Editor Guest of Honor at the 1992 World Science Fiction Convention. He lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Martin H. Greenberg anthologies - 1st of 4 pages

A. R. Morlan has published two novels, The Amulet and Dark Journey. She also has over 150 credits in over 75 different magazines and anthologies, including The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror (1991, 1993, 1994, 1996), Weird Tales, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Full Spectrum 4, and many others. She lives with a whole bunch of cats.

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Thomas Myer

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Theme anthologies are the ATMs of our print culture. You know what I mean: you're stuck downtown with a flat tire, you left your checkbook at home, and you and the wife are starving. No place takes credit. So you find one of those handy-dandy machines and pull out some cash.

So there you are between novels, the new Wired is not on the bookstands, and Profiler (cool show!) is in re-runs. What to do? Whip down to your favorite bookseller, and start perusing the anthologies. Chances are, Martin H. Greenberg has edited every dang one -- at least the ones in the SF section -- and bingo: something jumps out at ya.

Zodiac Fantastic, at first, appears to be an incongruent title. What's this horoscope thing? Hang on, grasshopper: it's the ancient art of foretelling the future meets SF, the literature of the future.

If you're afraid that such an old subject as the Zodiac may come up stale, then think again. These writers come out the gate slam-banging -- Greenberg insisted that the stories reflect a reinvented, overhauled, and waxed-up view.

Darrell Schweitzer's "I Told You So" blends humor reminiscent of Young Frankenstein with mock-Mickey-Spillane to good effect. How can you dislike a story with characters named Luciano the Bat and Charlie Kneecaps?

Diana Paxson's "Lion at the Gate" presents a unique story involving the Zodiac and Arthuriana -- the latter a subject I spent way too much time on in graduate school. I even wrote my undergraduate thesis on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight -- but we don't want to go there, trust me. Karen Haber's "Cezanne was a Capricorn" reminds us that we are each much more than the signs we are born under; that indeed, Cezanne the artist was a business-minded, categorical Capricorn.

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, who won a Nebula Award in 1989 for her novel The Healer's War, adds a spice of contemporary zeitgeist to her literary stew: her protagonist is a stubborn, battle-scarred, sexy female General. In her world, Aries become soldiers, Virgos and Leos rule the state, and Geminis become either actors or spies. Okay, so I'm a Gemini who writes, but if anyone out there wants me to be a spy, I'll do it. (Didn't think so.)

If you're anything like me -- seek medical attention immediately! -- no, if you're anything like me, you've got eleventy-thousand of these theme anthologies in your library. Each is protean, multifaceted, heterogeneous. Zodiac Fantastic is no different.

Copyright © 1997 by Thomas Myer

Thomas Myer tends to write software manuals, as it keeps the roof over his family's head. He is considered the favorite vegetarian in his neighborhood. In his spare time, he is known to fold laundry. Feel free to e-mail him, but don't mention that Starship Troopers will resemble Heinlein's masterpiece, really.


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