In my blog post on June 12, 2014, in which I wrote about working on this Kate Elliott collection for Tachyon Publications, I opened the post with the following paragraph:
|Cover Art by Julie Dillion|
The beauty of any "best of" collection is that it allows the reader to experience the full expanse of the author's writing and story telling. And, if the collection is indeed worth its (literal) weight, then the book will hopefully have some small treasure, a story unfamiliar to the reader, even if the reader is one of the author's biggest fans....and it holds true on my most recent project, The Very Best of Kate Elliott....
Of the twelve stories in this collection, six were published in various anthologies from DAW Books, and another story, "On the Dying Winds of the Old Year and the Birthing Winds of the New," is original to this volume; I suspect even Ms. Elliott's faithful fans haven't had the opportunity to read all of these stories.
Here is the contents list (in order of appearance) for The Very Best of Kate Elliott:
Riding the Shore of the River of DeathLeaf and Branch and Grass and VineThe Queen's GardenOn the Dying Winds of the Old Year and
the Birthing Winds of the NewThe Gates of JoriunThe Memory of PeaceWith God to Guard HerMy Voice Is in My SwordSunseekerA Simple Act of KindnessTo Be a ManMaking the World Live Again
And here is the starred Publishers Weekly review of The Very Best of Kate Elliott:
Elliott's delightful first collection contains pieces set in the worlds of her major fantasy series—the Spiritwalker Trilogy, the Crossroads Trilogy, the Crown of Stars series, and the Jaran novels....No familiarity with any of the novels is required to understand the stories set in those worlds, but the existing settings lend depth, complexity, and intrigue to what might otherwise be simple tales. "Riding the Shore of the River of Death," a bildungsroman about a young female horse-nomad who wants to be a warrior, benefit greatly from the depth of setting, as does the slapstick comedy "To Be a Man," about a shape-shifting saber-toothed cat with an eye for the ladies. But the standalones especially shine, and the political intrigue and subtle humor that Elliott brings to the fascinating culture and government system of "The Queen's Garden" make it perhaps the finest work in the book. This collection serves beautifully both as an introduction to Elliott and as a treat for fans who want more of her marvels."—Publishers Weekly, December 1, 2014
In addition to these twelve stories, the collection also includes four essays as well as an introduction written specifically for this collection. The Very Best of Kate Elliott was officially published on February 10.
[Addendum 18 February 2015] Interview on SFSignal.com: "Kate Elliott Discusses The Very Best of Kate Elliott and More."