Elemental: The Tsunami Relief Anthology: Stories of Science Fiction and Fantasy
ISBN: 0765315629

Mix of SciFi and Fantasy stories.

Proceeds of the book goes to the Save the Children’s Asia Tsunami Relief Fund (the afterword section explains more, and lists the statistics of those dead or missing from the 26 Dec 2004 tsunami).

Intro by Arthur C. Clarke. Mention that it was almost 60 years since he invented the communications satellite.

Most memorable stories:
David Gerrold’s “Report from the Near Future: Crystallization”. A speculation on what could happen when a major city freeway gets clogged, and the resulting effect on the city’s population.

Adam Robert’s “And Tomorrow And”. A refreshing interpretation on Macbeth, the prophesy he was given, and a somewhat “magical” being that we may not consider as magic today. Macbeth was prophesied that he could not be “killed by those born of woman”.

P25. “no pebble ever takes responsibility for the whole avalanche.” (quoted as a quote by Zen Master Solomon Short; is this person real?)

Esther M. Friesner’s “Abductio ad Absurdum”, where Creationism meets Alien-abduction.

Martha Well’s “The potter’s daughter”, a Fantasy world of sorcery and witchcraft; of human love for the more-than-human. I would be interested in reading the follow-up tales of Lady Kade.

P206. “The countertop danced with the ephemeral rainbows thrown off a moire pattern.” (from Moebius Trip, by Janny Wurts).

Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson contributed “Sea child: A tale of Dune”. The story takes place after the destruction of Dune. The protagonist is a disgraced Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother, enslaved by the brutal Honored Matres who are trying to pry out the secret location of Chapterhouse Dune. She finds an abandoned baby “phibian”, a hostile race genetically created to serve the Honored Matres.

Tim Lebbon’s “Chanting the Violet Dog down: a tale of Noreela” was a Fantasy tale. It wa vaguely Tolkienish for some reason, though not in the sense of elves or dwarfs or Rangers. More of a gradual revelation of some deeper and darker evil. Interesting concept of Mourners whose role was to chant and appease dead souls (not unlike Taoist priests). And the mysterious Violet Dogs, who seem to be a long vanished race of killers and zombie-makers. Like good Fantasy and SciFi, this story allows the reader to suggest possibilities rather then tell it all upfront.

Joe Haldeman’s “Expedition, with recipes” was an interesting one, with a conclusion that becomes self-evident after you read it (the “aha-effect”, I call it). About a group of young children, in a post-apocalyptic world, who go out of their camp to look for food. The interesting part is that they are part of the Whole food-gathering business, from the adult view point.

William C. Dietz’s “Run to Hardscrabble station”. A military SciFi story, as well as a coming-of-age tale. About a young officer posted to run supplies and logistics when she wanted to be in Intelligence. Finds herself embroiled in a hostile takeover of a supply station. [Interesting side note: Dietz wrote the story and sent to her daughter in serialised form, while his daughter was undergoing officer candidate training.]

Stories by:

  • Brian Aldiss
  • William C. Dietz
  • David Gerrold
  • Jacqueline Carey
  • David Drake
  • Joe Haldeman
  • Larry Niven
  • Martha Wells
  • Nina Kiriki Hoffman
  • Sherrilyn Kenyon (as Kinley MacGregor)
  • Tim Lebbon
  • Juliet Marillier
  • Syne Mitchell
  • Eric Nylund
  • Stel Pavlou
  • Adam Roberts
  • Sharon Shinn
  • Michael Marshall Smith
  • Sean Williams & Shane Dix
  • Jenny Wurts