The Emperor of Gondwanaland ) show his command of a colorful palette of ideas and approache"/>

Shuteye for the Timebroker

Paul Di Filippo, Author . Thunder's Mouth $14.95 (312p) ISBN 978-1-56025-817-9

The 15 stories in Di Filippo's latest collection (after 2005's The Emperor of Gondwanaland ) show his command of a colorful palette of ideas and approaches. The title tale is an amusing satire of a sleepless 24/7 near-future in which time is traded like a commodity by professional (if sometimes incompetent) brokers. In the screwball fantasy "The Secret Sutras of Sally Strumpet," a male writer hires an actress to play the pseudonymous female "author" of his bestselling chick lit novel—then finds himself getting absorbed like one of his feckless male characters into her far too authentic performance. The book also features respectful homages to the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Dunsany and Jules Verne. Most of the stories percolate with the author's trademark gushes of wit and humor, but several of the best are deadly earnest, including "Underground," a spooker set in the New York City subway system, and "Shadowboxer," a tale of a psychic assassin fighting "the war on terror" that brilliantly captures the moral ambiguity of attitudes in post-9/11 America. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/27/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
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