cover image Greetings and Other Stories

Greetings and Other Stories

Terry Bisson, . . Tachyon, $24.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-1-892391-24-7

Bisson fans are bound to savor this strong story collection from the Hugo and Nebula Award winner, but it should be particularly revelatory to new readers in search of crisp black comedy and satire. The lighthearted "I Saw the Light" turns the classic alien contact story (with props from Arthur C. Clarke's 2001 ) upside down, while the terse "Openclose" offers a glimpse into one future sponsored by the Office of Homeland Security. Capital punishment and religious education feed a surreal media circus in "The Old Rugged Cross." In the title story, legally ordered assisted suicide is supposed to help maintain world population, but no one—from suicides to the accidentally maimed and the hacked-up victims of genocide—can find peace while stuck waiting at "Death's Door." The haunting "Scout's Honor" and the gently elegiac "Almost Home" balance the bleak chills. The volume closes with the striking "Dear Abbey," about a desperate attempt to save the Earth from ecological disaster by traveling to the end of time. Agent, Frances Goldin. (Oct.)