cover image Black Pockets and Other Dark Thoughts

Black Pockets and Other Dark Thoughts

, . . Golden Gryphon, $24.95 (275pp) ISBN 978-1-930846-40-1

Veteran SF author Zebrowski (Macrolife ) probes the nether reaches of horror in this outstanding story collection. Spanning three decades and divided into "Personal Terrors," "Political Horrors" and "Metaphysical Fears," these 19 disturbing tales treat "the greatest horrors that dwell inside us," or what Zebrowski calls "our jailed innards." From "The Wish in the Fear," a story of heartbreak and alienation, through "The Soft Terrible Music," a searing portrait of the fate of dissidents, to the soul-shaking "Interpose," a wholly new look at Jesus Christ, Zebrowski treats the psychological enigma of the look-alike Other—or perhaps what he calls "the fault in us" responsible for mankind's crimes. Clearly displayed also is Zebrowski's deep sympathy for the underdog, whether the starving Polish zoo animals in his ferocious allegory "General Jarulzelski at the Zoo" or the helpless female trapped by her reproductive system in "First Love, First Fear." The title story sums up humanity's Faustian fascination with power, forcing those fearful glimpses into what we all would rather not see: ourselves. (May)