Author: Fred Saberhagen; edited by Joan Spicci Saberhagen and Robert Saberhagen New stories by David Weber, Harry Turtledove, Walter Jon Williams, Jane Lindskold, John Maddox Roberts, Daniel Abraham and Dean Wesley Smith Number of pages: 656 Publisher: Baen (December 27, 2011) Language: English
Qatar National Library call number: PS648.S3 G55 2011
Find on Amazon: click to purchase Golden Reflections
The first 190 pages are Fred Saberhagen’s articulately written Mask of the Sun, a story about a mysterious mask which foretells the future. The novel takes you to ancient Cuzco (modern day Peru) You go on a treacherous journey with Mike Gabrieli, Willak Umu and Cori.
There are 7 new short stories. These stories take you to Ancient Egypt, a 2032 AD German parallel universe, Mexico in 1675 and the Texan Alamo in 1836.
The Fate Line is about an incredibly lucky Pharaoh who is torn between being free and following the instructions of a Mask found in an Egyptian tomb.
Wax, Clay and Gold is about a lowly slave who discovers the power of the googles and uses it treacherously.
The Conquistador’s Hat was my personal favourite. It was set in a parallel universe where Germany had conquered most of the world and become a superpower. It’s a “closer you look, the less you see” tale which ends with a deception so clever I couldn’t help smiling.
Like the Rain, set in 17th century Santa Fe, tells of a priest desperate to rid his land of Castillian rule and return power to the natives.
Eyewear is a concocted story about how Spaniards Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and his companions had help on their journey from Gulf of Mexico to Gulf of California.
Remember is a tale of a man ravaged by cancer, who sacrifices the rest of his short life in the battle of the Alamo.
In Washington’s Rebellion, Dunstan Carmichael rises above self to get his team to safety.
What I thought
First off, there is a character called Tupac, who I kept imagining as Tupac the rapper, which made for some interesting imagery. The Mask of the Sun started out quite incredulous, but I slowly got into it especially rooting for Mike Gabrieli’s character. The story has quite a few unexpected twists and turns. The 7 additional stories are cleverly written and leave you truly intrigued, wondering if indeed there are parallel universes out there.
Page 193: Mask of the Sun “It didn’t pay to reach too fast for gold”
Page 279: Afterward to the Conquistador’s Hat“we dwell too much on the doing of great and important people. The fact is that idiots, morons, fools, clowns and losers have probably had as much influence on history; they are just underappreciated.”
Page 460: Washington’s Rebellion “An advantage is only as good as the use someone makes of it.”
Golden Nugget rating (out of 5)
Bag: GAIA’S ARK – NATURAL
Cult Gaia’s ark is a show stopping piece. The bag is modelled after old Japanese bamboo picnic bags. It is a conversation starter piece as everyone wants to know where you got it, what its made of or if your keys fall out through the holes. It comes in 3 sizes. The mini measures 9″ x 2.5″ x 9”. The small measures 11″ x 3″ x 8” and the large measures 12.5″ x 4″ x 10.5”.
The Gaia is versatile and can be worn during the day or out for drinks with the girls … and yes, your keys may fall out, so do be careful!