Book Review: X-FIles Anthology Volume 2
from the Goodreads summary . . . . . . .
X-Files: The Truth Is Out There
by Jonathan Maberry (Goodreads Author) , Kelley Armstrong(Goodreads Author), Kami Garcia (Goodreads Author), Jon McGoran (Goodreads Author)
I never expected the anthology to be this good! Editor Jonathan Mayberry has done a remarkable job of choosing the best stories, keeping them respectful and in sync with the X-Files bible (10 years of a television series plus movies and specials), and making sure there is no repetition of themes.
Every single story could easily serve as the script for an episode of the series. Mulder and Scully remain in character throughout, and the anthology wisely covers the early days, middle period, and later days of the series. Eight of the 15 stories (53%) are premium quality and worth a second reading, while another three stories (20%) almost reached the same level. Those 11 stories account for 73% of the anthology content, making this a legitimate 2016 contender for year's best awards.
The absolute stand-out, must read, story in this collection is "Dead Ringer" by Kelly Armstrong -- a touching and heartfelt tale of the Fae taking over the murdered bodies of children. In close contention is "Drive Time" by Jon McGowan in a clever spin on time travel and multiple murders.
Also worth that second reading are "Heart" by Kendare Blake (transplanted body parts influence the recipient); "Snowman" by Sarah Stegall in which Mulder discovers a Sasquatch tomb in the Mt. Rainier glacier; "Voice Of Experience" by Rachel Caine (suspicious suicide); "XXX " by Glenn Greenberg (exploding heads of male porno stars); "Foundling" by Tim Waggoner (disappearing town); and "When The Cows Come Home" by David Farland (ufos, crop circles, and cows).
The two other memorable stories that nearly reached similar plateaus as the above-mentioned are "Phase Shift" by Bev Vincent (a locked house mystery); and "Male Privilege" by Hank Schwaeble (witches providing protection from a dragon).
The remaining stories are still worthwhile and cover the subjects of Mulder's first encounter with the Cigarette Smoking Man (Kami Garcia), inherited paintings containing a math puzzle (Hank Phillippi Ryan), using Egyptian methods to revive bodies (Greg Cox), alien communication in multiple languages (David Sakmuster), and a time traveler with videos from the future (David Liss).