This delightfully diverse collection of early works from longtime author Bear contains a clear message: parents, don’t let your babies grow up to be true believers (of any variety). The 14 stories and one television script (which never made it to the screen) span fantasy, horror, and SF, as well as occasionally mingling them; all have been recently revised and include notes from the author. Fans of Bear’s gritty fantasy novels (Songs of Earth and Power) will appreciate the decent young protagonist unraveling a magic curse in “Sleepside Story.” Fans of his horror work (Psychlone) will enjoy an early glimpse at his meditations on the deceptive appearance of innocence in “Richie by the Sea.” Most, though, will look to the SF, which includes his breakout nanotech tale, “Blood Music” (later turned into a novel), and his renowned alt-history “Tangents,” dedicated to persecuted genius Alan Turing. Lesser-known stories, such as a sensitive look at genetic engineering set amid the insensitivities of high school life, and his script for Outer Limits, “Genius,” which wraps four-dimensional tentacles around three emotionally struggling individuals, also highlight Bear’s talent for combining human reality with speculative possibility. (May)
Reviewed on: 12/14/2015 Release date: 04/01/2016 Genre: Fiction
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