cover image Alembical


, . . Paper Golem, $24.95 (176pp) ISBN 978-0-9795349-2-8

This superb small anthology comprises four solid speculative novellas whose sole common element is their length. Jay Lake's “America, Such as She Is” populates postapocalyptic Oregon with beautifully written character studies. In “13 Miles to Paradise,” Bruce Taylor occasionally gets too self-indulgent, but the story itself—five internal monologues of a family heading to a vacation spot—is highly enjoyable. James Van Pelt's “Harvest” is a moving ghost story in which three believably complex high school students deal with grief, love and religion. Ray Vukcevich anchors the book with the witty “Now You See Us,” a love story set against the background of a lost Arctic village and lecherous, time-traveling Finnish monks. Short story writers Schoen and Dorrance have chosen well: these novellas cover a wide variety of subgenres and show off the talents of four impressive writers. The finely crafted writing should appeal to fans of both speculative and mainstream fiction. (Nov.)