THE SONGBIRDS OF PAIN by Garry Kilworth

THE SONGBIRDS OF PAIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Thirteen thoughtful, vaguely disturbing but oddly unevocative tales, 1975-83, from a Britisher who's little known here. Obsessions provide the framework for some weird, chilly stuff: a man resorb to bizarre self-torture in order to elicit the near-death experiences he craves; a near-future artist strives to attain a pinnacle of artistic expression by infecting himself with scarlet fever; a vanished race of suicidal aliens build imponderable bridges to nowhere; a creature trapped in a vast machine wonders whether it's human or rat; a woman seeking perfect beauty becomes addicted to pain. And, if these morbid items don't appeal, there's plenty of variety elsewhere--from monkey-man survival in a lost cavern to time-travel, from a tiger with a man's brain to variations on immortals-among-us and aliens-among-us. Smooth and confident work overall, with exotic ideas and locales--but often uncomfortably masochistic and reptilian: something like Orson Scott Card meets latter-day J. G. Ballard.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Victor Gollancz--dist. by David & Charles