Review Blog

Dec 07 2010

Worlds next door edited by Tehani Wessely

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Fablecroft, 2010, ISBN 9780980777017.
(Age 9-13) Recommended. Short stories. An engaging collection of speculative fiction, Worlds next door encompasses short stories ranging from horror to science fiction. Written by twenty five of Australia's top writers in the genre, including Pamela Freeman, Michael Pryor, Dave Luckett, Sue Bursztynski and Paul Collins, this is an excellent collection for both the library and the English faculty.
The first story, The best dog in the world by Dirk Flinthart, is science fiction at its best. Scientists exploit a dog's faithful nature in a heart wrenching way. Old Saint Nick by Leith Daniel is a Christmas story with a twist and would be perfect to read aloud to a restless group. I loved the horror in Little Arkham by Martin Livings, where a fan of Christopher Death, an author of gruesome stories, discovers just what happens in the school where he is the principal. The Nullabor wave by Matthew Chrulew is a startling original story with a unique Australian flavour, about driving across the desolate plains and the witch in Tabitha by Rowena Cory Daniels is very frightening.
Expertly selected by Tehani Wessely, individual stories in this excellent collection would make perfect introductions to different speculative fiction genres or as an introduction to the short story. Ghosts and strange creatures abound, making the collection one that children will really enjoy listening to as well. Audio versions of some of the stories and teaching ideas can be found at the World next door website .
Pat Pledger

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