Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tales from the Fathomless Abyss

THE FATHOMLESS ABYSS is a new shared-world e-book anthology leading up to a series of novellas using the same setting. The Abyss of the title is an apparently bottomless pit that opens up with no warning, in different time periods and in different places on Earth, and on other worlds as well. And when it opens . . . well, people fall in. Most of them survive, and they develop a hodgepodge of societies and towns on ledges and in caves along the walls of the Abyss. Naturally enough, more people are actually born in those settlements, and they come to be called Abyssals.

It's a great setting for a shared-world universe, since there are an almost limitless number of cultures up and down the walls of the Abyss and the authors involved can tell all sorts of different stories. The line-up of authors is a good one, too, including Philip Athans (who created the series), J.M. McDermott, my buddy Mel Odom, Mike Resnick and Brad R. Torgerson, Cat Rambo, and Jay Lake, all of whom do fine work here.

TALES FROM THE FATHOMLESS ABYSS reminded me a little of Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series, but with its own compelling set-up. I'm looking forward to seeing how it continues. Recommended.

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