Review: Triangulation Taking Flight

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Edited by Pete Butler

ISBN: 978-0-615-23540-0

Publisher: PARSEC Ink


I found Triangulation: Taking Flight, the 5th in the PARSEC Triangulation series of anthologies, to be mostly a good read. Ranging from short stories that pushed the 5000 word cut off to quick little flash fiction pieces, within its pages there is something for everyone who enjoys reading speculative fiction. The theme of this anthology was “Taking Flight”.

The anthology incorporates the annual PARSEC Short Story competition. On a side note, I would suggest every writer give due consideration to submitting to this competition. The prize money is good and there is no entry fee. The feedback they provide in regards to your submission is quite detailed; encouraging without stepping over any issues. Valuable.

The winner of this year’s competition is Amy Treadwell and her story Guinea. One of the longer pieces in the anthology, it is a well told, very touching story, which folds the competition’s theme of metallic feathers within its overall tale beautifully. Amy also won second place in the competition with “Nine is her Number” – also included in the anthology.

The second place story is completely different in everything except its quality. Guinea is set on a quaint farm with a lonely old lady who is befriended by a flightless fowl. Nine is set in Africa among a tribe who shun the protagonist. One hints at aliens, while the other encompasses strange magical powers granted by gods. Two very different stories, but equally well told.

I was disappointed to find a number of reprints within the anthology. Surely there were enough new stories submitted to create the publication.

One of the reprints is “Post” by Lavie Tidhar, a retitled piece originally called “Post-Human Pat”. As the original title gives away, it is a play on the child’s television series, “Postman Pat”—it even includes the cat. I felt the antho would not have been poorer if this piece hadn’t been included.

“The Life & Times of Penguin” by Eugie Foster, was an understandable addition of a reprint--if there were no other suitable new submissions. Toy Story told from yet another angle, but with a darker side, and much more feeling woven into the characters

Out of 20 stories, 4 are reprints – 20%! Disappointing.

First & second place in the competition plus four reprints covers nearly a third of the content. The remainder is some excellent original work by some very talented writers. Favourites among the them include: “What Are The Odds?” by Paul Stefko, “Seeing Stars” by Shanna Germain” & “Rush Hours” by Ian Creasey”.

The anthology covers: hard and soft science fiction; modern, straight, and dark fantasy; historical fiction; and just about any other form of speculative fiction within the main genres of horror/sci-fi/fantasy/mainstream. Truly something for everyone. The theme was examined from an amazing number of angles as well: ghost planes, magic carpets, balloon animals, flying creatures from books, even a Jewish bris ceremony (circumcision).

Being a POD publication through Lulu.com and only $4.00 for the PDF or $12 for the book, it would be very much worth your while to get hold of a copy.