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WesternSFA
After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar
Ed. by Joshua Palmatier & Patricia Bray
Daw Fantasy, $7.99, 303 pp
Release Date: March 1, 2011
The theme of this anthology is….The Bar. Fifteen talented contributors. In the first story we discover that the bar tender is magically imprisoned within the bar; although the bar itself can move across the globe and through history. And Gilgamesh gets tricked into becoming the bar tender. Loved the continuity of Gil’s description and presence in every story. Benjamin Tate’s tale was a good, fast read. Jennifer Dunne had an emperor who wanted to rule the world with help from the god Mars but it had a lame ending. Barbara Ashford had a very good story, and well-titled: The Tale That Wagged the Dog.” Kari Sperring had a lovely nice ending; I really liked Gilles’ part in this one. D.B. Jackson’s story was nicely written but not that much fun. I also liked Patricia Bray’s characterization of Harker; it was a nice story but a bit hurried, wished it were longer. Seanan McGuire had a delightful offering where Gil was not the primary protagonist but it had a summer king and winter queen and a very nice ending. My favorite was Ian Tregillis and the setting in WWII, a very well-written and plotted little story. All in all, it was a satisfying anthology. ~~ Catherine Book

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