Sunfall (1981) and


C. J. Cherryh, Author
C. J. Cherryh, Author . DAW $23.95 (656p) ISBN 978-0-7564-0217-4
Reviewed on: 01/19/2004
Release date: 02/01/2004

Sure to appeal to Cherryh enthusiasts as well as initiates, this omnibus volume gathers the stories from two out-of-print collections, Sunfall (1981) and Visible Light (1986), plus 16 additional tales. The majority showcase the author's talent for depicting the effect of history on individuals. In the Sunfall stories, about a far-future Earth where the Sun has begun to cool, Cherryh dramatizes how the inhabitants of such cities as Paris, London and Moscow might cope with gradual cultural and physical collapse. "Masks," a new Sunfall story original to this book, portrays carnevale revels in a far-future Venice as if it were again an independent city-state. The Visible Light section, which includes the Hugo-winning "Cassandra," highlights her skill at creating poignant, believable characters embedded in political and personal conflicts. Notable in the miscellaneous group is "Pots," which simultaneously recapitulates differing priorities in the politics and science of archeology. Its basic premise, that archeological truth is not always acceptable to those in power, could equally describe the past or the future of this science. Some may wish that the author's brief general introduction and new introduction to the Visible Light stories were more substantial, but all readers should appreciate her short fiction's lyrical blend of SF and fantasy. (Feb. 1)

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