edited by
Email this review


 A veteran fantasy writer's (Freeze Frames, 1995, etc.) anthology of 32 contemporary, original, mostly American stories. Greek myth is well-represented, with tales such as Susan Shwartz's feminist ``Hunters,'' about Artemis' tragic love affair with a mortal, and Esther M. Friesner's amusing if overlong ``Tea,'' about a lustful male aerobics instructor on a cruise ship who finds himself in the middle of a parlor squabble between Circe, Medea, and Prospero. Many efforts here draw upon reserves of deep sorrow: M. John Harrison's ``Seven Guesses of the Heart,'' for example, concerns the inability of magic to comfort a grieving father, and Gregory Feeley's ``The Drowning Cell'' is a sad story about a girl connecting with a boy who, centuries ago, drowned in a debtors' prison. Alternatively, the boy may be only an imaginary playmate, but, in any case, experiencing his sadness enables the girl to free herself of her own troubles. ``I just can't believe in a world where everything is run by science,'' says the main character in Connie Hirsch's amusing romp, ``Wicked Cool,'' which might be a manifesto for fantasy writers; most of these pieces feature some sort of ``magick''--in Hirsch's case, not always the magick of the Old Religion, since her witches fly around contemporary Boston on broomsticks. Mark Kreighbaum's overtitled ``Looking in the Heart of Light, the Silence,'' however, convincingly evokes the allure of the black arts: Two practitioners play out a foreordained scenario on a gloomy winter night in Minneapolis, intoning a series of powerful spells. Magick becomes bittersweet in Karawynn Long's clever commentary on the abortion debate, ``Riddle in Nine Syllables,'' in which a high-school girl invokes a medieval spell to induce a miscarriage in her friend, only to find herself carrying the fetus. Not flawless, but nearly so.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-06-105342-2
Page count: 464pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1996


Sci-FiSNARE by Katharine Kerr
by Katharine Kerr
FictionTHE RED WYVERN by Katharine Kerr
by Katharine Kerr
FictionFREEZE FRAMES by Katharine Kerr
by Katharine Kerr