What exactly Omni 's vision might be isn't clear in longtime fiction editor Datlow's terse introduction to this second anthology, nor does it become obvious in her curt prologues to these 13 stories, nor in the stories themselves. Published in Omni between 1985 and 1988, they range from work by such older hands as Robert Silverberg and Frederik Pohl, through Roger Zelazny and Carol Emshwiller to the likes of Lucius Shepard and Dan Simmons. Included are not only fantasy and science fiction but even mainstream (Kate Wilhelm's ``The Dragon Seed'' might fit better in Redbook Visions ). All the pieces are uniformly polished--even slick--and most are typical of their authors' work. Some have been published in single-author anthologies (the version of Greg Bear's ``Dead Run'' included here is superior to the longer one in his anthology Tangents ). A charmer is Howard Waldrop's ``The Lions Are Asleep This Night,'' an example of his trademark offbeat, postmodern alternate histories. Shepard's poetic, intelligently written prose poem, ``Pictures Made of Stones,'' takes place in a version of the gorgeous threatening jungle he often uses. The one Hugo winner, Zelazny's overrated ``Permafrost,'' is, at best, clever. Still, this is a high-quality sampling of what the genre has to offer. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/02/1994 Release date: 05/01/1994 Genre: Fiction
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