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Showing 1-1 of 1 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on February 28, 2004
Due to his big-selling science fiction novels, Dan Simmons is usually lumped into that category. My edition of this paperback even has an unbelievably inaccurate cover illustration featuring an astronaut, though only one of the stories here even remotely involves space travel. The varied works in this collection of short stories firmly place Simmons in the more inclusive genre of speculative fiction, with an ethic similar to that of his hero Harlan Ellison. There are a couple of clunkers here, like the rushed and unfocused anti-televangelist yarn "Vexed to Nightmare by a Rocking Cradle," plus an unnecessary TV script. But otherwise the selections here are well written and very compelling, with Simmons specializing in the humanistic side of the supernatural. Highlights include a highly disturbing tale of death in the family in "The River Styx Runs Upstream," two tales about the inescapable horrors of war in "E-Ticket to "Namland" and "Iverson's Pits" (covering the Vietnam and Civil Wars, respectively), and the outstanding psychic murder suspense of "Carrion Comfort." This collection is a great introduction to a writer who doesn't get enough credit for the variety of his ideas. [~doomsdayer520~]
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