“I caught a reference to this book on an article, added it to a wish list, and lo, I got it for Christmas, only had completely forgotten about it. It was a very nice surprise to discover it is great!
I've seen some negative reviews on this site, where people complain about the "unfinished" feel of the endings to these stories. In fact, I think that very feel is one of its virtues. Link provides us with glimpses of rich, detailed worlds full of fascinating characters. I always wonder about those writers who choose the short story as their medium, especially when each one feels like a fully rendered universe. It's like they're seasoned travellers who have gone so far and seen so many wonderful places they can't just sit and write ONE novel about them. No, they need to give us a taste of all these different places they saw, all those people they met, while the memory is still fresh in their minds.
True, the endings often leave the protagonists in uncertain situations, but that's where the reader's imagination has to start working. Like snapshots of fantasy universes, we don't get to see what's beyond the frame, but we know it's there. We don't know what exactly happened after the photograph was taken, but we do feel things went on. More stuff happened.
It's a sign of how great these stories are that you always feel sorry when they end, and an even clearer sign that you immediately fall under the spell of the next one. Until the book ends, and you want to wail, because the voyage is over... for now. ”