The Time It Happened (Spring 2015, Third Flatiron, Colorado, U.S.A.)
Third Flatiron’s Spring 2015 anthology The Time it Happened is a highly enjoyable, eclectic collection of hard and soft SF with a little bit of fantasy and humour thrown in. Standouts for me include Martin Clark’s “False Footfall,” an exciting and imaginative (re)take of the Apollo 11 mission, featuring the enigmatic Dr. Leon Prinz, a character I first encountered and fell in love with in Third Flatiron’s anthology Abbreviated Epics. Other alternate history tales are just as creative: Thomas Canfield gives us a fun romp with his version of the creation and launch of Sputnik in “Puppy Love.” As befitting a collection about time, travel is involved, the finest story of which is Neil James Hudson’s “A Rock in the Air,” a breathtaking account of the bombing of Hiroshima.
One of the things that captured my attention most about this collection is the depth and beauty of the storytelling – there are some serious heavyweights here when it comes down to language and style, including Larry C. Kay (“What Was Lost”), Alan Hadari (the devastating “Lincoln’s Watch”), Evan Henry (“With Gilded Wings”), and Richard Mark Ankers (“Armada of Snow”). Tech-heavy “Net War 1” by Elliotte Rusty Harold is a highly satisfying hard SF tale of war and intelligence.
To lighten things up a bit, there is Dan Koboldt’s absolutely brilliant “Going Viral,” and Wendy Nikel’s “Good to the Last Drop,” about a certain precious commodity we all don’t want to be without. The Grins and Gurgles section features a trio of laugh-out-loud flash fiction, including Dana Schellings’ utterly hilarious issue of “Blargnorff Industries New Employee Handbook Human Edition,” and Mark Hill’s cheeky, sleepier version of “The Zzzombie Apocalypse.”
A fantastic mix of stellar stories!