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Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Three Ruins Anthologies from Hadley-Rille Books (by Liviu Suciu)


Order Ruins Extraterrestrial HERE
Order Ruins Terra HERE
Order Ruins Metropolis HERE

Some years ago I stumbled upon the Ruins Anthology Series from Hadley Rille books. I bought the Ruins Extraterrestrial book and loved the short stories inside quite a lot, so I bought its companion piece Ruins Terra which I started and read maybe 10 stories overall from it, but for various reasons - most notably the fact that my interests/moods swing fast - I never finished, though I always planned to read more and in consequence I kept it through the major winnowing of my print library this past year for the move from New York to Ann Arbor.

The third anthology, Ruins Metropolis remained on my Amazon wish list all these years and I always planned to get it at some point especially given its awesome cover above. Imagine my delight yesterday when looking at that wish list for other reasons, I noticed that like with The Transylvanian Trilogy that I wanted for a long time but the print price was too high, the Ruins anthologies have been recently reissued in electronic form and at the unbelievable price of 99c each at least for now, which meant that buying all three was automatic as they are all together about the price of a B&N large coffee.

So I will finally get to read Ruins Metropolis and finish Ruins Terra soon, though of course as I do with most anthologies these days, I plan to intersperse the stories in-between novels. The print editions are still available, both new and used if you want to go that route.

Before presenting the contents for Ruins Terra and Ruins Metropolis and talking about Ruins Extraterrestrial which I read several years ago but a quick refresh reminded me why I loved it so much, I will note that all three ebooks are drm-free, so you can use Kindle-PC, download them there, get them from the Documents/My Kindle Content folder, rename them as say mobi or prc from the azw Amazon format and drop them into Calibre for a quick conversion to your format of choice, without needing to go through the de-drm dance Kindle books usually need.

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Editor Eric T. Reynolds comments on Ruins Extraterrestrial in the introduction.

"We have long been fascinated with ruins. Even people who lived during ancient times were interested in the artifacts left by even more ancient cultures. Ruins hold so much mystery that even the best analysis can give only an impression of a long-vanished culture. Whether future ruins of Earth or those found on distant worlds, their artifacts are small pieces to larger puzzles that can never be absolutely complete. To study them we have to think beyond our present world experience. This is true of earthly ruins as well as those of non-human origin.

Cultures that evolved independently of us will have developed societies far beyond our imagination. And yet, that’s what carries us forward and motivates us to take those long trips across the void, confronting unknown obstacles in order to bring back knowledge from the remnants of a vanished civilization. How safe the visits will be will vary. Exploring alien ruins can be dangerous, both unintentionally on the part of those who left them, as well as by design. Some might still have a presence that can be triggered by the arrival of an unsuspecting archaeological team. Others will be completely dead."

Table of Contents: Ruins Extraterrestrial:

Introduction by Eric T. Reynolds
Stonework by Wendy Waring
Beyond the Wall by Justin Stanchfield
The Empty Utopia by Christopher McKitterick
Borrowed Time by Gustavo Bondoni
Charybdis by Sue Blalock
Introduction to the Findings of Team 150B-T.2U by Raiden Mesc Gerarti by Elizabeth Kate Switaj
The Dam by Harvey Welles and Philip Raines
The Fateful Voyage of Dame La Liberté by Lavie Tidhar
Memories by Robert B. Marcus, Jr.
Watcher in the Dark by Suanne Warr
Jigsaw by Douglas Smith
Heartcry by Willis Couvillier
When All Is Known by Cheryl McCreary
Red City by Rob Riel
Combustible Eden by Davin Ireland
The Price of Peace by Tristan S. Davenport
Song of the Child-Prophet by Jonathan Shipley
Flies by Paul L. Bates
Planetfall by Jack Hillman
Inheritance by Trent Walters
Inclusions by Camille Alexa
I, Fixit by Ted Stetson
Among the Shards of Heaven by Jennifer Crow

Looking back at the anthology I notice some familiar names that have become mainstays in the sff community since I've read the book, most notably Lavie Tidhar and Douglas Smith, while I also got and plan to soon read Christopher McKitterick's 2010 novel Transcendence.

The stories range from dark to humorous, from human perspective to alien one, from explorers from civilizations that are like ours, to explorers that come from strange cultures, from pure exploration to accidental findings and from peaceful settings to warlike ones. As they are only a few pages short, the stories feature usually only a few characters but almost always something interesting either happens or is discovered, so there are a few twists, great atmosphere and world building that is just exceptional given the few pages each author has to work with. There is even a two pages story where the place is the only character!

Overall I would say that Ruins Extraterrestrial (highly recommended) is the perfect place to start the exploration of this superb trio of anthologies.

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Editor Eric T. Reynolds comments on Ruins Terra in the introduction.

"Ruins have fascinated us for centuries. They provide a connection with the past, telling us about a culture no longer there, or of one that has moved on to new places.

In this book we present twenty-five stories and a poem about many kinds of human ruins from all over the world. You will find several genres represented including science fiction, fantasy, horror, gothic and mainstream. Each deals with how humans make sense of the ruins around them, whether natural or artificial.

Enjoy your travels into these fascinating realms of humanity."


Table of Contents: Ruins Terra

Introduction by Eric T. Reynolds
Rising Tide by Ann Walters
Icebound by Kate Kelly
The Moment of Glory by Brendan Connell
A Glint Through Smoke and Flame by Michael Merriam
Pilgrims by Ted Stetson
The Outdiggers by Jean-Michel Calvez
The Last King of Rona by Stefan Pearson
The Ruin by Skadi meic Beorh
Rock Visions by F.V. “Ed” Edwards
The Chamber of Azahn by Thomas Canfield
Maximum Entropy by Kfir Luzzatto
After the Stonehenge Bombing by Ivan Sun
Burrow by Joel Arnold
Python by Jenny Blackford
Seagull Inn by Adele Cosgrove-Bray
Clonehenge by Douglas A. Van Belle
It’s a Temple by Gareth Owens
The Guardians of Llarazan by Stoney M. Setzer
The Tour Guide by Angeline Hawkes
The Tomb by Leila Eadie
The Boy Who Found Atlantis by Jacqueline Seewald
In Every Place that I Am by Adrienne J. Odasso
Amazon Library by Lisa Fortuner
Moss Memoirs by Lancer Kind
Airholes by George Page
Rats in the Walls by Lyn McConchie

I read maybe ten stories in the print version years ago and read two in the ebook version I just got and like with Ruins Extraterrestrial, the stories are short but haunting and evocative.

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Editor Eric T. Reynolds comments on Ruins Metropolis in the introduction.

"The artwork jumped out at me and within a few seconds I decided I needed to go ahead with this new anthology. This one would have a twist Ruins Terra and Ruins Extraterrestrial didn’t: the stories in this volume would be based on the cover art.

So I put out the call for submissions along with an image of Debbie Hughes’s painting. The story guidelines for this anthology were: write a story based on this cover art and the woman in the image must be the protagonist."

Table Contents: Ruins Metropolis

Introduction by Eric T. Reynolds
Sumari’s Solitude by Alycia C. Cooke
The Amulet of Passages by Leslie Brown and Sarah Totton
In the Precinct of Amun-Re by Kate Kelly
The Eye of Re-Atum by Christine Poulsen
Carrying Keptara by R. F. Long
Seeker of the Dead by Gerri Leen
Veilsight by Camille Alexa
Panthanatos by Megan Arkenberg
Children of the City by Lyn McConchie
Mrs. Kelly’s Ghosts by Anna D. Allen
Kehmet’s Curse by Kari Livingston
When Love Dies by Jonathan Shipley
A Haunting in Giza by Brenta Blevins
Amulet by Jacqueline Seewald
Chamber of Illusions by H.F. Gibbard
The Deserted City by Victoria Kennedy
The Tomb of Setankan by Sarah Wagner
The Name and the Shadow by Gene Stewart
Old World Magic by Adele Cosgrove-Bray
The Great Sleep by Rob Rosen
End by Ahmed A. Khan
By the Pool of the Blue Lotus by Erin M. Hartshorn
The Final Goodbye by Heather Kuehl
The Librarian of Talimbourne by Kim Vandervort
Dancing on the Corpse of the World by Jude-Marie Green
Burning Stone by Stephen Graham King
In Search of Camanac by C. L. Holland
The Memory by Meg Swanton
The Return of the Queen by Jennifer Moore
Convergence by K. L. Townsend
City of the Dead by Barton Paul Levenson
Qui’s Contract by Ransom Noble
Goddess Reborn by Gianna Robbins
For Sale: One Gold (Plated) Eye of Horus by Chris Benton
Haroeris’s Favor by Willis Couvillier

I read so far three stories and they were all very good to excellent so I think this anthology is another winner!

1 comments:

ecsange said...

I love anthologies and these about ruins fascinate me. Putting together one on ruins is a great take on fantasy. Our good Earth has a number of ruins that truly puzzle the mind. I look forward to reading them.

Elaine Sangiolo
Book Marketing Manager: Cathedral of Dream, A Kingdom's Possession (both Booktrope and Amazon)
Booktrope Publishing
www.booktrope.com
www.booktropepublishing.com
@inkdipped

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