Dreaming Again, presented by Jack Dann, is an amazing collection of short stories in the speculative fiction genre from Australian authors. From science fiction, fantasy and horror, these short stories are diverse and imaginative. Dann precedes the collection with a nice introduction explaining the premise of the book. The back of the book says it best: "Breathtaking in scope, originality and imagination."
I've read quite a few short stories before, but almost everything else about this book was new for me. First there's the Australian authors. I haven't knowingly read any that I can think of. Also, I don't read much speculative fiction. In fact, I could probably count the number of such books I've read on one hand and those were all science fiction. I can't remember ever reading any fantasy (except if you count Harry Potter, which I don't because to me he's real) or horror. It's not that I didn't enjoy the few that I read it's just that I tend to gravitate towards other genres.
I really enjoyed reading this book. In fact, at times I didn't want to put the book down and couldn't wait to see what the next story was about. The stories were diverse with unique characters and story lines. The three subgenres(?) were well represented. Dann's selection of stories and editing of the book were superb. One of the first sentences in the first story gave me an indication of what I was in for "...I had regrown my left foot...". I knew right then and there this book was going to be different from any other book I've read.
My favourites include:
The Constant Past, The Forest, This Way to the Exit, Empire, Lost Arts and many more. That's enough for now. I could be here all day listing them. I also have a list of those I'd like to reread.
Definitely recommended. Even if you think you might not like speculative fiction, I'd say this book is still worth a try.