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Triangulation: Taking Flight edited by Pete Butler

01/10/2008. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Triangulation: Taking Flight in the USA - or Buy Triangulation: Taking Flight in the UK

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pub: Parsec INK. 126 page enlarged paperback. Price: $12.00 (US). ISBN: 978-0-6152-3540-0).

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How about this then. A small anthology yet twenty stories. That's more than you get in some of the bigger anthologies. Just because it's a smaller page count, it doesn't make it any less worthy although you will become a little punch drunk reading them one after the other and would strongly advise to read a couple a day. Like good wine, assuming you have a taste for alcoholic beverages which I don't, each story deserves to be savoured before going onto the next one. If you don't, there's a tendency for a little blurring, mostly because there isn't a bad story in this collection.

This year's 'Triangulation' is based, as the title shows, on the theme of taking flight. This doesn't mean the stories are all doing an Icarus and taking to the air and having them melt by getting too close to then sun or even his father, Daedalus, who had a safe voyage. Indeed, in that respect, the cover is a bit of a misnomer and more a starting point.

Instead, this topic is open to interpretation by the authors which ended up covering a wide range of topics. As such, there is no defining moment or those who stand out more than others or, at least, when they do its more because I took them in smaller doses and taken by surprise. Make a firm note, to read them first thing in the morning rather than before going to sleep. It's the kind of book you want to get in touch with at dawn and pondering the implications for the rest of the day.

Two stories did strike me especially. Matt Betts' 'Before The Ink Is Dry' is a superb assassin's tale and a reminder you ought to pay your debts. The final story 'Life And Time Of Penguin' by Eugie Foster about self-aware toys in the hands of a destructive child is both touching and uplifting as a finale and should remind you to look out for the next collection in this series which according to the website is to be inspired by 'Dark Glass'.

This has nothing against the rest of the stories but there's more than enough in here to cover the taste of everyone with a great likelihood that you'll be back re-reading them again before very long.

GF Willmetts

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