cover image The Human Alchemy

The Human Alchemy

Michael Griffin. Word Horde, $16.99 trade paper (332p) ISBN 978-1-939905-40-6

“Let another reality shift into place, superimposed onto this one,” invites a character in one of the 11 weird tales in this collection. These works challenge the reader to consider worlds of alternate and potentially transcendent possibilities that impinge upon our own. In “The Tidal Pull of Salt and Sand,” a man searching for his missing girlfriend is absorbed, physically and spiritually, by a “cluster” of women, each of whom represents a potentially different variation of her persona. “Endure Within a Dying Frame” concerns a mathematician who uses a succession of female subjects to channel energy waves left behind by a lost lover in an effort to resurrect her. Griffin (The Lure of Devouring Light) creates characters who have experienced deeply personal losses that make their quests to rise above circumstances seem a poignant effort to deny that “everything and everyone... might vanish before its time.” His stories are fantastical and horrific, and their outcomes are refreshingly unpredictable. (July)