Gateways, edited by Martin H. Greenberg (DAW, 2005)

This anthology explores the concept of gateways, with each of the 29 original stories collected within detailing a different portal, of one kind or another. Whether they link distant galaxies, the past and future, or even life and death, they all manage to bring two very different realms together.
One of the oddest stories in the book has to be Robert Sheckley’s metafictional story, “The Two Sheckleys,” about an author named, what else, Robert Sheckley, who gets invited to write a story about, what else, gateways. Before it’s over, there’ll be more than one Robert Sheckley, and they’ll both travel into distant realms in search of a story. Russell Davis’ story, “Midnight at the Half-Life Café” finds a long-hospitalized man journeying into a strange limbo realm, where he’ll make the most fateful decision of his life in a mysterious nocturnal café. Rebecca Moesta’s charming “Postcards” links two very different, yet similar, girls across universes, offering one of them a possible way out of a bad situation. Daniel Hoyt’s “Shift Out Of Control” takes a look at parallel dimensions and alternate timelines, and addresses just how confusing it can all be to those unprepared for the infinite possibilities. In Janet Deaver-Pack’s “The Trigger,” a young woman, missing for years, returns with a bizarre story about visiting a whole new world. How she got there, and how she got home, is the mystery, but after meeting her parents, is it any wonder she wants to go back?
Rebecca Lickiss’ “Spring Break” is a howlingly funny, off-color tale of pirates, fairies, and one very lost teenager. In “Double Trouble,” John Zakour revisits the future of Zachary Johnson, the last P.I. on Earth, as he investigates a mystery involving time travel. “By the Rules,” by Phaedra Wilson, follows a group of gamers who get a little too involved in their current game, literally sucked into the setting. In Jim Fiscus’ “Carded,” a man set on some corporate revenge finds both enemies and allies in another dimension, due to a case of mistaken identity.
These are just some of the entertaining, and quality, stories to be found in this collection. Clearly, the authors all had a lot of fun in exploring their theme, and they certainly didn’t hold back in stretching the idea to its limits. This was definitely a good collection, with something bound to appeal to just about any fan.

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