Book Review: The Constellation of Alarion and Other Stories, by John Houlihan

I previously read and loved Houlihan’s d’Bois novels, so was interested to explore his other writing.

What to Expect

A collection of ten short stories (the last a novelette), covering the breadth of speculative-fiction: science-fiction, fantasy, and touches of horror. Themes range from light top dark, from geopolitical to intimately emotional.

What I liked

I like Houlihan’s ideas and execution. His writing style changes to accommodate the theme and tone of each story. Most importantly, this anthology contains some shorts that capture the quintessential quality of good stories — they make you think and stay with you far after finishing the book.

What to be aware of

As with all anthologies, these are short stories. When you find a particularly juicy one you’d love to explore more, it’s time to switch brain-gears into the next.

Felix’s Review

Felix loved especially the story mixing chariot-racing and gladiatorial combat. (He’d try to set it up at home, if only he had the money). As for all the zombies and other-worldly / ancient mysteries — well, you get what you get when you tamper with these. Be prepared.


Highly recommended for those who love anthologies of speculative fiction to make you think.

Enjoying the reviews, but wondering who the heck is that Felix fellow? Glad you asked! He’s the protagonist of the Togas, Daggers, and Magic series, an historical-fantasy blend of a paranormal detective on a background inspired by ancient Rome.

Come meet Felix and his world on the free short stories and novels!

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