Tales from the Great Turtle

Piers Anthony, Editor, Richard Gilliam, Editor
Piers Anthony, Editor, Richard Gilliam, Editor Tor Books $22.95 (396p) ISBN 978-0-312-85628-1
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
This thoughtfully produced anthology presents fantasy stories on American Indian themes by both Indian and non-Indian authors, five of whom make their debuts here. Anthony contributes the first piece, ``Tortoise Shell,'' based ``on what may be the oldest story in the world.'' Anna Kirwan-Vogel's ``Where There Are Hummingbirds'' is a poignant tale of a pre-Columbian mother's love for her son. Cherokee storyteller Owl Goingback plumbs his tribe's oral tradition in ``Animal Sounds,'' as does Steve Rasnic Tem (``Lost Cherokee''), who blends trickster tales from a variety of traditions with the story of combat against archetypal evil. Perhaps the collection's strongest entry, Merle Apassingok's ``Nuniva,'' deftly melds Innuit storytelling with space-age science fiction. Stories are grouped into four sections that parallel a river's course, from ``Headwaters'' to ``Destinations''-an apt metaphor that traces the trajectory of the Native experience. With a fluidity like that of the river itself, the volume ultimately takes on a force all its own. Fantasy fans will readily warm to this entertaining work, as will the growing audience for books about the indigenous peoples of the Americas. (Nov.)
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