cover image Tales of the Hidden World

Tales of the Hidden World

Simon R. Green. Open Road, $14.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-4804-9116-8

It’s hard not to feel that Green (Blue Moon Rising) is being a bit self-indulgent in his selection and description of the 17 short stories in this collection, which include fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He provides samples of his earliest work, which is not his best, and shares with the reader his opinion of the stories they’ve just read. Not all the ideas pan out, as in “He Said, Laughing,” a gimmicky retelling of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness with zombies thrown in. Green’s vision is more effective in “Dorothy Dreams,” another reworking of a classic character. Often the premise isn’t matched by the resolution: a truly apocalyptic alien threat in “From Out of the Sun, Endlessly Singing” leads to a confusing and disappointing ending. Even Green fans will want to give this collection a miss. (July)