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Crystal Vision

By Catherine Schaff-Stump

Crystal Vision

Tags: Anthology, Fantasy

Started reading:
10th December 2007
Finished reading:
12th December 2007





Rating: 7

This book was created to help raise funds for Crystal d’Anno (a friend of a friend) who is fighting breast cancer. The creators of the book describe it as “An anthology of the fantastic and fabulous in short story, art and poetry to help fight breast cancer”. Copies of the book are available from CafePress, at a cost of $20.

I bought this book to help support a friend’s efforts to support her friend, but I do have some critisms of the book. First off, I’m not fond of their choice to use CafePress to print/market the book. CafePress’s book binding feels flimsy and I don’t think it will stand up well to repeated readings. Also as near as I can determine from CafePress’s website, they do not offer any assistance in getting an ISBN. Without an ISBN, none of the major bookchains will carry your book; limiting sales to those people who stumble across a random page on CafePress’s site. Perhaps if they do a second edition, they can use a better service (e.g. Lulu.com).

Putting aside my dislike of CafePress, I found the book to be a bit uneven in the selection of stories. But I suppose that’s to be expected given that it is a collection of works by a group of friends trying to help out one of their number. Some quick thoughts on a few of the pieces in this collection:

  • The Initiation Rites and Incantations of the Vampire Killers Junior Auxiliary was fun but I think would work better as a longer work than as the short story presented here.
  • Fearless was my favorite piece in the collection; it was clever and worked really well as a short story.
  • Catalog of Waters was another interesting story, but it felt more like it was just getting started when it ended.
  • The Depths of Strength read like a decent (if generic) fantasy story. It’s something I wouldn’t mind reading a full novel of, but from this snippet wouldn’t be something I’d be willing to buy in hardback.