When most writers do an anthology, they make sure they have a strong story, followed by some good stories and add a story that may never see print again. Joel Jenkins does not follow this path. Every story in his anthology is great and you want to see more of them.
When I started the book I decided that I would try something different than what I usually do when I review an anthology. I read one story per day, so that I could enjoy them as stand alone. Even though they were short stories, I felt like I received more from each story than I normally do from a novel.
Several times I’ve said that Joel Jenkins can write any genre and it would be great. He has proven me right once again. In this book he has a Pulp hero, a werewolf, zombies, fantasy, a tale set in the war ravaged future, a 1970s with a different style (I say better) of Charlie’s Angels with everything that decade had to offer and more, magic, the Three Musketeers, a second story using a friend’s character, World War 2 masked heroes, and a short story using characters from Greek Mythology. This may be why he calls the book Weird Worlds. Nothing Jenkins writes about is normal.
When I first read Joel’s books, I was impressed with his Dire Planet and Gantlet Brothers series. I remember thinking, “Wow, how many writers can do two series in two different genres and make both great?” Any sane person would be happy with having two popular series, not Joel Jenkins. He has written several other series and books. With this anthology I can see several future novels based on characters in this book. I’d be happy with a series of any from this book. I do have a favorite (mostly due to the fact I grew up in that era) and that would be The Dark Star Detective Agency. There are so many Easter Eggs in this story from the 1970s that someone in my age group (56) would spot and enjoy. Most are very subtle and if you are not familiar with all that was going on then, you might not catch. It wouldn’t surprise me if I missed a few, but it is worth reading again to see what they are.
Before I forget, the cover is from the story, “The Bralkivenous Equation” starring the Dark Star Detective Agency. Incredible cover art by MD Jackson. It fits beautifully with the story. Could this be a not so subtle hint that we may see a series based on the story? I certainly hope so.
As for the rest of the book? It is worth a sixth or seventh read. Yes, even the zombies and I normally don’t like Zombie stories. Don’t just buy this book, but buy every Joel Jenkins book you can. Remember winter is coming and you might as well enjoy his books since you don’t want to be outside in bad weather. It wouldn’t surprise me if someday soon Netflix has several of Joel Jenkins stories as shows.