Falling From The Sky
featuring John Hines Jr, Tony O'Neill, Mallory Small, Scott Wayne Indiana, Kristina Jung, Henry Baum, Sherry Bryan, Janis Butler Holm, Daniel Scott Buck, Lindsay Bull, Greg Gerding, Joe Shipley, Chris Roberts, Kirsty Carse, "Anonymous", Santi Elijah Holley, Carlton Mellick III, Gina Ranalli, Marcela Albornoz, Bradley Sands, Steve Quinlan, Jeremy Robert Johnson, Matthew Pendleton, Mark Brittenburg, Tom Thompson, Kenji Siratori, Stephen J Anderson, David Borthwick, Kristopher Young, LeRoy K May, Madhvi Ramani, Kevin L Donihe, Agni Kudra, Paul Lumsdaine, Reno J Romero, Kate Holden, and Brad Listi; assorted (2007)
Another Sky Press, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-9776051-2-5

Falling From The Sky is, in a way, a good introduction to Another Sky Press, a "non-traditional publishing company" that operates under a "progressive publishing and distribution paradigm that aims to directly benefit both audience and author". Which is to say, they put their stories out on their website for free for readers like you and me to "evaluate" how much we feel that these authors' efforts are worth. If we believe that these works are worth something, we can contribute an amount of money that we feel is appropriate and the money goes directly to the authors involved. The books are also available in dead tree form via usual outlets like Amazon.

I don't know how well this system will work, but hey, optimism is part and parcel of independent publishing so more power to Another Sky Press if they think they have hit upon a workable system here.

Since Another Sky Press wants to showcase edgy and experimental writing, this anthology is full of such stories. Now, if you are starting to think that "edgy and experimental writing" is an euphemism for stories about crackheads and other junkies, you're right. Trainspotting has a lot to answer for, I tell you. Still, to be fair, not all the stories here are about the angst and melodramatic tribulations of being a fashionably cool junkie - some deal with booze, lonely women writing to imprisoned criminals who shot down their beautiful old school friend's husband, broken relationships that always leave the woman reeling with pain, odes to people dying...

In other words, the whole thing comes off like a collection of stories for young kids who dabble in making amateur horror movies and writing poems about anguish and despair, while at the same time wondering why their geniuses are unappreciated by their parents who have better things to do, such as working to ensure that they could keep a roof over these kids' heads. It's creepy how Falling From The Sky resembles a cliché of the usual Goth kid's wet dream at times.

Alas, I'm of the unfortunate species of readers who view such excesses of Gothic/emo overtones as a "been there, done that" kind of melodrama that I have long outgrown in the same way that I have outgrown music by Tori Amos and Siouxsie and The Banshees. As a result, I can't help but to chuckle at the whole thing here. I know, the authors are probably hoping that I can wax lyrical over their interpretations of life, death, and all shades of angst and what not, but at least I have a pleasant time reading Falling From The Sky. That counts for something,

I hope? I guess I'm not just hip enough to appreciate this one. Maybe you will. Hey, it's a free download if you don't feel like paying $6.25 ($15.99 on Amazon) for the trade paperback, so give it a try at http://www.anothersky.org and see for yourself.

Rating: 76

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