cover image ARRAY(0x24cc018)


Richard Bowes, . . ARRAY(0x239c188), $2.95 (222pp) ISBN 978-0-7595-6459-6

Two e-books (one more or less a memoir, the other a short-story collection) from veteran SF author Bowes showcase his signature interest in the strange intersection of fantasy and the drug-fueled 1960s underground. The memoir begins oddly, with a story about a "time cop" on the prowl for "upstream jumpers" who travel back in time illegally. From there, Bowes switches gears and begins to recount his troubled adolescence in 1960s Long Island, which included drug and alcohol binges, an ill-fated experiment with the ROTC and, finally, a self-imposed exile to New York City. Well written and highly emotional, the memoir is especially compelling when Bowes focuses on his faltering steps toward recognizing his homosexuality and his contentious, tragic relationship with his father. Less affecting are the SF/fantasy stories interspersed throughout the memoir. These attempt to echo and comment on events in Bowes's life, but mostly distract from Bowes's compelling personal narrative. Timed to coincide with the publication of his memoir is a collection of four journeyman short stories, all written in the past decade. Most effective is the title story, a gruesome hodgepodge of snuff films, threesomes, black magic and murdered children. The other notable story is a mysterious tale called "Someday I Shall Arise and Go." Set in the bohemian GreenwichVillage of the late '60s, it concerns a young woman who is able to escape a crowd of hippies and addicts slipping slowly into oblivion thanks to some timely magic—or is it metaphor? The stories cater mostly to genre fans, but Bowes's memoir has more wide-ranging appeal.