Music from the Fifth Planet by Anne Nicholls
The Alchemy Press (ebook), 2015
I was given a free copy by the publisher, The Alchemy Press in exchange for a review.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Fourteen superb speculative stories by Anne Nicholls: “I love a good story: thrills, adventures, heroism, the writing of wrongs.” From the introduction by Justina Robson: “Anne is at her finest when displaying and dissecting [the] viciously intertwined brambles of human making, showing how the dream of reality and its truth can be so far apart between one mind and another… All of these are beautifully written. Anne evokes setting and directs action with great skill so that the tales flow along at an effortless pace from daring beginning to satisfying end. I wish she would write more adventure stories!
I’d never seen anything like it. I was just sitting there at a long table like everybody else. Something massive and strange passed outside the ice-encrusted windows. I slid my old dagger out of my boot and slipped it up my sleeve. Inside our cavern heads turned until everyone was staring apprehensively, reaching for knives and swords. Even so they flinched, and so did I, as the monster slammed open the door. Tall, it was, with a strange peaked head and leathery skin scabbed with snow (BY RIGHT OF THE STARS)
WHAT I THOUGHT
This is my first time reading Anne Nicholls.
Music from the Fifth Planet is an excellent collection of stories. I don’t often read speculative fiction so this collection made an interesting change from the stuff I usually read. Nicholls is an excellent writer. Story after story took me somewhere surprising. I enjoyed By Right of the Stars, The World of Silver Winter, Bride of the Sea, Wishbone and Eyes of Day, Eyes of Night the most.
I’d highly recommend Music from the Fifth Planet.