SIGNS AND PORTENTS by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro


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Ten well-turned but largely inconsequential tales, 1973-84--from the author of, most recently, Hyacinths (1983). Yarbro is pretty good on middles but weak on beginnings, and her endings are practically nonexistent--as in the best entry here, a non-sf novel fragment: set in Canada, it concerns a dispute over an Indian burial ground where evidence of an old murder turns up. Elsewhere, an insurance executive receives a premature obituary notice that subsequently comes true; a spurned young girl turns to witchcraft to gain revenge on her fickle, callous lover; a computerized apartment eats its occupant's ex-lovers; a sailor engulfed by a mysterious fog finds a scary Someone busy altering reality. And the other pieces include the usual aliens, an obsessed painter, and radiation-damaged survivors of a nuclear accident. Mostly standard themes, then, with occasional nastiness but no real horror: a hard-working yet often insipid gathering.

Pub Date: Dec. 15th, 1984
Publisher: Dream/Press (P.O. Box 8531, Santa Cruz, CA 95061)