cover image The Bible Repairman and 
Other Stories

The Bible Repairman and Other Stories

Tim Powers. Tachyon (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-61696-047-6

Terrible choices face the protagonists of six poignant pieces by historical fantasist Powers (On Stranger Tides). Some must learn to release their ghosts, like the eponymous contractor who customizes Bibles by removing unwanted passages. Others learn to hold on, like the twin who has to deal with the return of her smothering sister’s spirit in “Parallel Lines.” The alternative is to be stuck in the past by traumas that not even time travel can unravel, as in “The Hour of Babel.” Characters aren’t daunted by the Nephelim (“A Time to Cast Away Stones,” coda to 1989’s The Stress of Her Regard), a notorious artist seeking a second chance (“A Soul in a Bottle”), or the sorcerous last will of a college friend (“A Journey of Only Two Paces”), but Powers makes them face the scariest challenges of all: the hidden desires of their own hearts. (Oct.)