- Published on Amazon.com
I can't usually be bothered to review fiction because i'm a little bit hyper-critical, there is always something to complain or nark about.
However, this has to be the finest colletion of short fantasy/sf/horror stories i've read in a long time, perhaps only equalled by Crowther's most recent work *Jewels in the Dust*.
Lets give a bit of a summary, although its not easy to summarise, because the stories often work elsewhere than in the plot - the language is careful and suggestively poetic, but not pretentious.
The first tale is basically about a man somewhere on a planet who keeps eoncoutering his memories in some kind of strange floating building. Doesn't sound much but I can feel my own life and loss and continuance in the story (although it has little in common with the 'hero's') along with the wonder - what more can you ask?
The next tale The Killing of Davis Davis, is a time war - lets just say it was handled better than in Doctor who :)
The Invasion is a gentle story of an alien encounter, that does not involve killing, destruction or slavery, but perhaps does involve death and transformation.
Palindromic, is another alien encounter, a tale of good intentions gone horribly wrong, and maybe horribly right, because of a time paradox. I don't think the time paradox is quite resolved, but it doesn't really matter. The story has its implications...
In Heroes and villans, a supervillan's mother is dying of cancer, and somehow he discovers his place in the scheme of things.
There are lots of other memorable stories, in the title story the dead return, but the issue is for how long, and why.... again moving and gentle and again perhaps not.
There are some straight horrors in here, perhaps but, for me, the tales of wonder and explorations of loss, even when apparently resolved 'happily' are the high points in the collection.
If you want your horror soaked in blood, or sick then this may not be the right stuff, but if you like Ray Bradbury or Niel Gaiman (who are poetic and twisted) then you should give them a try. I'm currently searching for more of the author's work