cover image Sweet Potato Pie and Other Surrealities

Sweet Potato Pie and Other Surrealities

Lawrence M. Schoen, Hadley Rille (Ingram, dist.), $15.95 paper (236p) ISBN 978-0-9827256-2-7

Schoen (Buffalito Destiny) has perfected an unusual art form: the lo-cal snack of speculative fiction. Like the 10 poems that show various supernatural monsters menacing school children, most of the 24 stories are simultaneously cute and forgettable; each has barely enough room to introduce its zippy idea, let alone develop it. In "Fries with That," a fast-food restaurant manager explains the advantages of hiring zombies for the late-night shift. In "The Novice," a noncharismatic vampire discovers that he can attract unwitting blood donors at a role-playing–game convention. In "Thirst for Knowledge," a cultured vampire assumes the identity of a college professor and selects students for his private wine cellar. More impressive and entertaining are a couple of longer pieces: "The Sky's the Limit," a deft Damon Runyon pastiche, and "Golem Summer," whose animated characters will make readers smile. (Sept.)