cover image The Door Gunner and Other Perilous Flights of Fancy

The Door Gunner and Other Perilous Flights of Fancy

Michael Bishop. Subterranean (, $45 (528p) ISBN 978-1-59606-374-7

This retrospective collection, which spans Nebula-winner Bishop’s four-decade career, chronologically presents 25 narratives of “life as it is: an ongoing struggle to get things right in an atmosphere often stretching from uncertainty to chaos.” Bishop reflects on culture in intensely personal and often sardonic ways, pondering the last days of B-movie character actor Rondo Hatton in “Help Me, Rondo” and the multinarrator legend of a Vietnam-era zombie helicopter gunner in the title story. The Southern-style magic realism of stories like “Bears Discover Smut” sometimes wanders entirely out of the genre realm, and many stories stop before reaching anything like an ending, but that won’t keep readers from appreciating the striking beauty of Bishop’s prose and imagery. (Jan.)