Ten original tales from Britain, plus a nonfiction piece on recent science-fiction novels, a parochial introduction that should have been rewritten for a wider audience, and an afterword from Michael Moorcock, who also contributes one of the stories. Peter F. Hamilton makes another splendid appearance with ``Starlight Dreamer,'' an eerie and evocative tale where elvenkind are drawn back to a future deindustrialized, depopulated, reforested England, only to conflict with mortals in all too familiar ways. In Robert Holdstock's amusing ``The Charisma Trees,'' archaic magical hazel trees become imbued with human genes that confer charisma, resulting in people vanishing into the remote past. ``Inside Outside,'' David Langford's nonfiction contribution, examines the pitfalls that await mainstream writers venturing into science fiction, with hilarious examples. Elsewhere, Garry Kilworth again parades his familiar obsession with pain; Lisa Tuttle ponders longevity and the morals of the super-rich; and tasteless offerings emanate from Elizabeth Sourbut (penises detach from their owners) and Barrington J. Bayley (anal compulsives navigate through hyperspace). Different. Difficult. And perhaps not altogether worth the effort. It's easy to see—despite Garnett's editorial rant—why readers generally prefer novels.
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