The Wizard of Macatawa and Other Stories

Tom Doyle. Paper Golem (Ingram, dist.), $16 trade paper (222p) ISBN 978-0-9835521-4-7
Short fiction author Doyle offer s a variety pack of speculative fiction in his first collection, including riveting near-future explorations (“Consensus Building,” “While Ireland Holds These Graves”), space opera that sometimes crosses into the bizarre or grotesque (“Crossing Borders,” “Inversions”), and fanciful stories built on the frameworks of Earthly cultures (Japan for “The Floating Otherworld,” India “The Garuda Bird,” Brazil for “Sea and Stars”). Doyle’s near-future narratives are his strongest, with character development and plot taking center stage, supported by fascinatingly plausible tech developments. Less engrossing are the stories that focus on the strange and weird, including the title story, a peculiar exploration of The Wizard of Oz, and “Inversions,” in which upside-down aliens go into a “sex death” frenzy whenever they see someone inverted from their orientation. This isn’t quite a something-for-everyone collection, but it showcases Doyle’s promise especially in the science fiction realm. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Genre: Fiction
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