I bought this collection of short stories mainly for "A Strand in the Web" by Anne Bishop. There are also two other stories "Host of Leeches" by James Alan Gardner and "Stranded" by Anthony Francis. All of the stories were at least acceptable, some more than others. But what I didn't pick up from reading the publisher's summary is that they are also YA. Which is not, in and of itself, a major objection. But I would have liked to know ahead of time what I was getting.
"A Strand in the Web" was worth the purchase price of the book. This is a well thought out, compelling story with a strong environmental theme. What happens when a planet get a second chance - a chance to recover from massive ecological damage? A ship full of space travelers who are attempting to atone for environmental sins on another world in the distant past have one last chance to get it right. This is a powerful thought-providing work. Well written and complete in itself. Highly recommended.
"Host of Leeches" is written in a rather simplistic style. A 16 year old girl is infected with an illness of extraterrestrial origins while on Earth. She wakes up on an orbital space station populated by retired military robots, some of which are deceitful and power-hungry and other that are fond of humans. Very YA feel to the entire thing.
I took a strong dislike to "Stranded." Mainly as a result of scenes with a male teenaged bully physically abusing the young girls who had the misfortune to find themselves in his power. I don't find that type of behavior entertaining. I slogged through and eventually finished the story. Space travelers crash land after their ship malfunctions. Young female centaur trying to find herself in compensation for an overachieving grandmother discovers the wrecked ship and steps in. The story is somewhat open-ended and feels like is might be lifted from part of a series.