Reviews of Swashbuckling Editor Stories (1993)
Review by kirwar4face (2003-05-10)
It's been at least two weeks since I sort of promised to review Swashbuckling Editor Stories, and with one thing and another, I'm still only two-thirds of the way through the book. I have had to pause a couple of days now and then to get my breath; there are better stories in here than one might hope for from a novelty collection. So far my pick for Best In Show is Kij Johnson's "The Emperor's New Prose," a subtle, brilliant, deceptively innocent-looking tour de force (this is my first glimpse of her talent and I'm a little excited...think Robert Sheckley, think Ray Bradbury, think Jonathan Carroll) that is likely to be anthologized nearly as often as the Andersen tale that inspired it. Another favorite of mine is "Untitled" by Greg Cox, not least for my own delightful performance in reading aloud the dialogue between nervous assistant editor Alyssa Egret and Hannibal the—I mean, Hector the Rejector, hissing behind his Saran-Wrap barrier. And in "Not Virginal Enough," George Scithers parlays his decades of experience in the field to paint a picture of the ideal relationship between aliens and editors, a vision which unfortunately holds disturbing possibilities for those of us without, ah, breeder reactions.