Book Review: Tales from the Empire, edited by Peter Schweighofer

(originally posted on Amazon 5/22/2011)

tales from the empire

Short review: most of the stories in here are just okay. For the most part the writing isn’t bad, just a little less polished than you might expect in a mass-market release. The biggest problem I had with the collection was that so many of the stories are basically retreads of one another. For instance, there are two stories about crack Rebel commando teams that read almost literally as the exact same story, just told by different writers with different characters; and at least four stories featuring some idealistic individual (usually young, female, implausibly brilliant, and at first not at all interested in the Rebellion) thrust into a crisis and making a decision to join “on principle”. Add to this the number of stock situations and interchangeable characters and, well, the collection really does read like some of the better stuff you might find on ff.net. It is not surprising that probably the best story of the collection — “Side Trips”, a collaboration by Timothy Zahn and Michael Stackpole — was written by the only writers in the book who had actual, long-standing writing credits to their names.

Don’t expect great things with this collection. Go into it knowing its a sort of better class of fanfiction, and little more.

3 Stars out of 5 Stars

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