FRACTAL PAISLEYS by Paul Di Filippo

FRACTAL PAISLEYS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ten tales, 1989--97, including two previously unpublished, in this second collection, following Ribofunk (1996). The same-ish, claustrophobic backdrop, with its heavy emphasis on rock music, its generally '60s ambiance, and mingled jive/good-ol'-boy approach, doesn't disguise the slenderness of many of the ideas here. Best of the bunch: a wishing machine from the future (the title piece); a hermit music reviewer who emerges from his apartment to find that New York's Village has become a Disney theme park; pop icon John Lennon's spectacles affording a view into another dimension; the god Bacchus's endless party; and the one real standout, a murder mystery romp involving Rupert Sheldrake's morphic fields. The remainder, less consequentially, offer: a quantum creature that radiates feel-good emotions; a birdlike alien that kidnaps a rock band; and an intelligent computer from the future that fails to prevent the death of Kurt Cobain. Weakest of all are the previously unpublished entries: a magic ring influences US political trends and a race of imps live secretly among humans. Di Filippo is often adept at twanging the heartstrings of nostalgia, but his brand of humor too often manifests itself as no more than a glassy grin.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1997
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Four Walls Eight Windows