All These Little Worlds

All These Little Worlds - Rob Redman, James Benmore, Jennifer Moore, Charles Lambert Having enjoyed the stories included in Various Authors, and having been introduced to various authors, I was looking forward to The Fiction Desk's follow-up, All These Little Worlds (which for a few months I kept mis-reading as All These Little Words). No matter, since the anthology contains nine worlds, each in turn containing several words. As with its predecessor, this collection is a nice mixture of straightforward literary realism with some fine examples of the literary fantastic. What I've liked so far about these Fiction Desk anthologies (well, the first two at least) is the inclusion of literary fantasy (or contemporary urban magic realism, if you prefer). I've stopped reading many journals due to their lack of imagination, since practically every story starts reading just like its neighbour (this was the case with the respected yet ordinary Glimmer Train). There is much of the ordinary in literature, and not enough of the extraordinary. The combination of realism and literary fantasy is well balanced.

Of the nine stories I liked eight. As part of The Fiction Desk's award for the "best" story in each of its anthologies, Worlds authors voted James Benmore's "Jaggers & Crown" as the best story in the anthology. A truly fine story among many, but my vote goes to Halimah Marcus's "Dress Code," a real surprise.

For my full-length review, including reviews of each individual story, please visit Casual Debris.