My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This collection of short stories from Anne McCaffrey is almost like an excerpt compilation from her other works. The Rowan & Damia from The Tower & The Hive, The Catteni Series, The Pern Series, The Talent Series, and The Ship Who Sang are all represented here, along with a few others. I normally do a review of each story when I review an anthology, but in this case I won’t since these are all (to me) just parts of other works. I have not read The Ship Who Sang series, so the last story I have postponed reading because I don’t want any spoilers (which the foreword says are there). The other books I have read so long ago, that they were nice reminders of why I like McCaffrey so well. Anne McCaffrey is one of my all-time favorite authors. Go read the books mentioned above.
One stand-out story from the collection that I will review is Weather on Welladay. It’s a fast-paced mystery story that sets up a detailed world in a very short time-frame, then wraps you up in it. I hope to be be able to write something short yet broad like that one day. It is an amazing talent.
As for the other independent works here, I can’t say that they were that great. I don’t share the reasoning behind some of the characters behaviors, so they didn’t connect with me in a way that pulled me into the stories that much.
So, I can recommend Finder’s Keeper and The Smallest Dragonboy in addition to Weather on Welladay, but the rest (of the non-series stories) I could have skipped. Do read the full works mentioned before, though. They are all superb. I give this collection 3 stars and call it an Decent Sampler Read.