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Human For a Day
Daw Book Collectors / Anthology
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Jennifer Brozek

Daw Books, Inc
December 6. 2011 / 978-0756407001

Reviewed by
Jan Fields

In “Human for a Day” sixteen authors imagine what creatures might find themselves in human form for a day and how that might transpire. Robots, cats, dogs, zombies, statues, angels and more discover the surprise and wonder of humanity. The settings of the stories vary from ancient to Victorian to otherwordly. I found the anthology premise fascinating and the stories inside never let me down. Some were so deeply psychological as to be a little difficult to track, while others wore the very familiar trappings of urban fantasy, a genre I enjoy very much. Some creatures make the most of their day in the human skin, while others find it an unpleasant inconvenience.

Some stories are touchy and tender, others funny but still thought provoking. This collection highlights one of my favorite things about anthologies, the amazing variety of viewpoints in the creative imagination.

My favorite story grew out of one of my favorite newspaper editorials. When young Virginia wrote to ask a newspaper editor if Santa Claus was real, the resulting editorial changed the very fabric of reality -- or so the story suggests. I know I like to think it did. So if you like an anthology that posits a truly wonderful "What If?" and then responds to it with sixteen delightful, fast-reading answers, this truly will be a treat for you. I know it was for me. With the rush and hurry of this time of year, a book you can consume in small bites of spare time and that fills you with new creative wonder is likely to be a welcome addition to your personal library -- so go take a bite. You'll be glad you did.

The Mainspring of His Heart, the Shackles of His Soul by Ian Tregillis
The Blade of His Plow by Jay Lake
Cinderella City by Seanan McGuire
Tumulus by Anton Strout
The Sentry by Fiona Patton
Ten Thousand Cold Nights by Erik Scott de Bie
Mortality by Dylan Birtolo
The Dog-Catcher's Song by Tanith Lee
Mortal Mix-Up by Laura Resnick
Band of Bronze by Jean Rabe
Zombie Interrupted by Tim Waggoner
Beneath the Silent Bell, the Autumn Sky Turns to Spring by Eugie Foster
The Very Next Day by Jody Lynn Nye
The Destroyer by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Into the Nth Dimension by David D. Levine
Epilogue by Jim C. Hines

Reviewer Janis Fields is the author of over two dozen books for children and adults including Threads of Deceit, Ghost Light Burning, Wellspring of Magic, and Emerald Dragon.
Reviewed 2011
© 2011