Dead Americans and Other Stories

Ben Peek. ChiZine (Diamond; U.S. dist.; HarperCollins Canada, Canadian dist.), $16.95 trade paper (325p) ISBN 978-1-77148-171-7
Ten speculative fiction stories illuminate the talent of this Australian author (A Year in the City). Primarily focused on short fiction, Peek has written about two dozen short works in a variety of venues in the decade and a half since he was first published; this collection represents the best of that body of work. Herein can be found a John Wayne caught in a struggle for the soul of America, famed science fiction author Octavia Butler cast in the lead role of a Butler-style post-apocalyptic tale of asymmetric relationships, Mark Twain drawn into the brutal conflicts of colonial Australia, and immortals who regret too late the decisions that sent them into a second, inhuman life. Also included is a short but informative introduction to Peek and his work by Rjurik Davidson. Failure is always an option for Peek's protagonists, but even if they can never reach the heights to which they aspire, they can at least envision them, a rarity in a field that too often rejects progress. Although Peek's appropriation of other people's lives for his own purposes can be disquieting, readers will be seduced by the outrage that drives much of his fiction and Peek's undeniable skills as a writer. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/03/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 300 pages - 978-1-77148-172-4
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