A Palazzo in the Stars: Science Fiction Stories

Paul Di Filippo. Wildside (wildsidepress.com), $14.99 trade paper (262p) ISBN 978-1-4794-0714-9
The many literary gifts of longtime SF author Di Filippo (Neutrino Drag) shine brightly in these 17 stories, most written between 2010 and 2013. Each is headed by Di Filippo’s brief explanation of the story’s significance to the vision of the genre he has been refining since 1977. The tender and poignant “Candle in a Chianti Bottle” affectionately recalls the “long-lost, romantic” beatnik spirit of 1950s–60s Greenwich Village coffeehouses. “A Pocketful of Faces” chillingly melds scientific extrapolation with sly noirish humor. A persevering, cheeky teenage-boy SF hero dominates the rollicking “Sweet Spots,” a fulfillment of every adolescent dream of trumping adult authority with huge payoffs from relatively little effort. The title tale, a steampunk story set in Venice, captures an artist’s eternal tension between love and creativity. “Specter-Bombing the Beer Goggles” and “The Mood Room” show just how effectively Di Filippo laces hard SF with excruciating ironies. This entertaining and thought-provoking collection exhibits colorful linguistic style and often touching emotions, and it will appeal to a broad cross section of readers. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/2015
Release date: 12/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
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