Pandemonium: The Lowest Heaven (4 stars)

Pandemonium: The Lowest Heaven

Science fiction anthology published to coincide with Royal Observatory Greenwich's 'Visions of the Universe'

(Jurassic London)

In this visually beautiful anthology, each short story is inspired by a different object in our solar system, from the sun to the moon to Halley's Comet. Speculative fiction fans will be excited just looking at the contents page, with original stories by Alastair Reynolds, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, S.L. Grey, Adam Roberts, and Kaaron Warren, among others - and the stories do not disappoint.

Sophia McDougall's 'Golden Apple' is an evocative and devastating portrayal of loss; James Smythe's 'The Grand Tour' is set in a dark and creeping post-apocalyptic world; Maria Dahvana Headley's 'The Krakatoan' is an examination of father-daughter relationships and the pitfalls of growing up. Technically the collection fits into the science-fiction genre, but there's plenty to enjoy for mainstream readers, as the focus is generally kept on the characters and settings rather than the science.

As well as stories, the anthology also features a selection of vintage photography and art from the archives of the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Overall, it's visually beautiful with an incredibly high quality of fiction. Highly recommended.

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