jenn_geeks_out's review

Go to review page


Anthologies are often tricky for me to rate, and this one is no exception. Some of the stories were awesome and some weren't. Most of the stories grew up organically around the premise of Gilgamesh's immortal bar, but there were a few that gave the distinct impression of being half written before the idea for this anthology and the immortal bar was thrown in ex post facto. This volume is definitely worth reading and it introduced me to a few authors that I'd like to check out in the future, as well as warned me off from a few that I don't think I'll enjoy.

Mostly I read this book because I knew Maria V. Snyder had a story in it and it was available through Kobo to put on the ereader I got for Christmas.

pers's review

Go to review page


As always when I buy a multi-author anthology, I make a beeline for the stories by the authors whose work I already know since the chances are very high I'll enjoy those stories. After that I work my way through the remaining stories from start to finish. I'm pleased to say there was only one story in this collection which failed to engage me and I left it unfinished.(No, I'm not going to 'name and shame' the author as it may well be down to me not the author that I couldn't get into it.) Of the authors with whom I was unfamiliar, I've added 3 to my 'want to read more of their stuff' list. Always a good sign.

I believe this anthology is the one that started the partnership of Bray and Palmatier and led to the Zombies Need Brains annual Kickstarter anthology campaigns. This year's anthologies are just about to go out to backers, and I'm very much looking forward to receiving my copy of 'Death of All Things'. And to backing the new campaign when it opens on August 29th!

lordofthemoon's review

Go to review page


This is a bar stories collection, about a bar that travels from place to place, tended by the Mesopotamian hero Gilgamesh, made immortal but unable to leave his bar. I'm a sucker for bar stories, from [b: Tales from the White Hart|149055|Tales from the White Hart|Arthur C. Clarke||143857] to [b: Callahan's Crosstime Saloon|218677|Callahan's Crosstime Saloon (Callahan's #1)|Spider Robinson||1128634]. This was a fun collection, but, for me, didn't match either of the others I mentioned. There are no recurring characters (the regulars of the bar) other than Gil himself, whose importance to the story varies wildly and those barflies often add a lot of flavour.

Also, for a bar that's existed since Mesopotamian times, I thought the authors limited their scope. The first story told how Gil took over the bar, but the next jumps immediately to the Viking period, and we move forward in time from there. Nothing in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome or any of the other brilliant places for a tavern story, which is a shame.

Of the stories themselves, I enjoyed The Tale That Wagged the Dog about a man cursed by the Queen of Faerie into dog form and his selkie companion and what it means to be a man. [a: Seanan McGuire|2860219|Seanan McGuire|]'s The Alchemy of Alcohol is a nice little story about warring seasons and also includes a couple of cocktail recipes. It is, I think, the only story in the collection not to feature Gil at all, although he is mentioned. The Grand Tour by [a: Juliet E. McKenna|215177|Juliet E. McKenna|] is a nice little story about a couple of arrogant upper class boys, on the verge of entry to Oxford, at the eve of the Great War, and what they're taught while on a tour of Europe and get into a fight outside Gil's bar.

The rest of the stories are a mixed bunch, some good and some bad. It's a nice example of the bar story genre, but I'd rather spend my evening with the regulars of Callahan's, the White Hart, or the Fountain.