cover image In Dreams

In Dreams

. Gollancz, $11.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-575-05201-7

The 45 record--the cultural milestone that marked the birth of musical mass markets and rock stars--is celebrated in this collection of original science fiction and horror stories gathered by McAuley ( Eternal Light ) and Newman ( Bad Dreams ). Don Webb depicts an antique dealer who discovers a mirror that shows the true love of whoever looks into it. The dealer is crushed when a song on the phonograph starts to play--and the face of an old boyfriend appears to his wife. Unrequited passion is traced in another story by Lewis Shiner. Stan, a talented young drummer, falls in love with beautiful rock idol Keven Stacey and eventually must decide between permanent unemployment and chasing her. Greg Egan's tale involves brain implants that download people's musical desires into computers, which generate the appropriate rock music, along with videos and ``bios'' of the musicians. Although the narrator's favorite band rises up the charts, its depressing lyrics force the record company to ``kill off'' the synthetic lead singer; the singer's death from a drug overdose is just another ghoulish touch in a collection that unnerves and provokes while it entertains. (Nov.)