cover image Alien Plot

Alien Plot

Piers Anthony. Tor Books, $18.95 (255pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85394-5

Known primarily for his novels, Anthony ( Macroscope ) here collects short stories written over a span of 35 years; many are previously unpublished, and original to this volume. For the most part, they are top-notch efforts. ``December Dates'' is a touching love story; ``Imp to Nymph'' and ``E Van S'' demonstrate Anthony's predilection for puns. While both ``Soft Like a Woman'' and ``Ship of Mustard'' feature female protagonists, they will not dispel Anthony's reputation for male chauvinism. He introduces each of the 20 stories with a commentary in which he recalls how he wrote the story and, frequently it how it was rejected by hostile or indifferent editors. Indeed, the collection's title refers to a plot on the part of editors to alien ate writers. Going a step further, both ``Revise and Invent'' and ``Nonent'' concern a writer whose stories are rejected. Overall this is an entertaining assemblage that Anthony's many fans will surely welcome. (Oct.)