Various SPX – SPX 2003
Now this is what an SPX anthology should be. I had my problems with it last year when they decided to go with a “theme” format, and I was more than a little leery when I learned that they’d be doing the same thing this year. Well, the theme this year is traveling, and what they’ve done with this book is make a collection, representative of a convention that brings people literally from all over the world, that is the perfect book to read while traveling. It’s genius, and I can’t think of a better thing to read while on the way home from the convention, or just sitting on the bus going to work. While the theme was broad last year, it still required a lot of research and I got the impression that some people just didn’t have that much fun with it. That wasn’t the case at all this year, and I think this might go down as one of the best anthologies of the year while not having any “big” stars in it. There weren’t even that many familiar names to me, and I like to think that I keep up with this sort of thing. No, I’m not going to list them all, as you can go here and read the list for yourself, and find out all about the convention this year. Highlights for me were all over the place, but here are a few: Travis Nichol’s theory about why people make out on school bus trips, Jessica Fink’s tale of being kidnapped by her father, Michael Sivak’s story of being on the road when he learns that his grandfather has had a stroke, Mike Dawson’s Gabagool story “Dirty Banana”, and the haunting story by Ryan Browne about a traveling NBA referee. Almost everything in here was good and they still keep these things insanely cheap ($9.95 for 250 pages or so), there’s just no reason not to get this. The one minor gripe I have is that I wish they would print the artist’s names on the bottom of each page, but a little flipping back and forth won’t kill me. Buy this book!