cover image Cages: Short Fiction by Ed Gorman

Cages: Short Fiction by Ed Gorman

Edward Gorman. Deadline Press, $35 (370pp) ISBN 978-0-9631367-6-3

In this mixed bag of 20 stories and one novella, most of which have appeared in hardcover collections or SF and mystery magazines, Gorman (Prisoners and Other Stories), who describes himself as inhabiting ``the lower depths of American paperback publishing,'' shows off his range in an array of tales with admitted debts to, among others, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, John D. MacDonald and even Vladimir Nabokov (the noirish, Lolita-derived ``The End of It All''). Leading off the collection is the novella ``Moonchasers,'' a work reminiscent of King's heartfelt boyhood idyll ``The Body.'' Further along, wisely wedged into the middle of the collection, is the title story, the most original-and most ghastly-story here, a deeply unpleasant tale of genetic mutants arising from our pollution of nature. Gorman's stories often glow bizarrely, even his semi-surreal westerns, but he has a knack for writing tales that offend mainstream sensibilities-which is perhaps why his work sometimes appears in limited editions like this one. Limited edition of 500 signed copies. (Feb.)