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Recommended Short Fiction

(From Locus October 1997. Comments are derived from the "Distillations: Short Fiction Reviews" column by Mark R. Kelly except where noted; JS=Jonathan Strahan.)

Eric Brown, "The Eschatarium at Lyssia" (Interzone 8/97) Exotic planetary romance about an artist returning to the planet where his wife died to confront alien ghosts -- and learn why he had his memories of the event erased.

Gregory Feeley, "On the Ice Islands" (Asimov's 10-11/97) Suspenseful new chapter in Feeley's Neptune saga in which an astronaut battles for survivial while trapped in a spacesuit not under her own control.

Esther M. Friesner, "True Believer" (F&SF 9/97) Hilarious tale in which magical cough syrup gives a comic-book reading boy the unconscious power to make things he believes in become real.

Peter F. Hamilton, "Escape Route" (Interzone 7/97) Novella-length prequel to The Reality Dysfunction: asteroid miners discover a wrecked alien ship full of technological marvels.

Gwyneth Jones, "The Grass Princess" (Interzone 8/97) Reprint of story that won the 1996 World Fantasy Award about a princess under a spell and those who attempt to take advantage of the situation; subversive.

Ian R. MacLeod, "The Golden Keeper" (Asimov's 10-11/97) Magical and compelling tale of a once-wealthy Roman forced to take an assignment at a gold mine in remote Egypt, where he discovers secrets of the ancients.

Michael Moorcock, "London Bone" (New Worlds, ed. David Garnett) A 21st century London ticket scalper discovers a trade in beautiful, amber-like, chemically transformed bones of long-buried Londoners. (JS)

Kim Newman, "Great Western" (New Worlds, ed. David Garnett) Beautifully told alternate history in which the Magna Carta's inclusion of the right to bear arms produces a British history with parallels of the Civil War and the Wild West. (JS)

Rebecca Ore, "Collected Ogoense" (Asimov's 10-11/97) An American biologist obsessed with African killifish gets into trouble with a Gabonese customs official and plans revenge on the co-worker who betrayed her.

Robert Silverberg, "Beauty in the Night" (SF Age 9/97) In a near-future overshadowed by invading aliens, the son of a Pakistani woman plots revenge on his English father for a lifetime of abuse and his secret dealings with the aliens.

Allen Steele, "...Where Angels Fear to Tread" (Asimov's 10-11/97) Slick time-travel yarn in which a botched expedition to witness the Hindenburg crash leads to a military standoff at a Tennessee lake where the UFO-like timeship has ditched.

Howard Waldrop, "The Heart of Whitenesse" (New Worlds, ed. David Garnett) Delightful alternate history in which Christopher Marlowe, secret agent, interrogates Faust to see if he's a papist. (JS)

© 1997 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.