A Few Last Words for the Late Immortals

Michael Bishop. Fairwood, $17.99 trade paper (250p) ISBN 978-1-933846-12-5
A jam-packed package of 50 short stories and poems, this career-spanning collection from Nebula Award winner Bishop (Unicorn Mountain) finds the last anthropologist of humanity sorting through its castoffs and press releases with alien eyes (“A Few Last Words for the Late Immortals”) and poets singing of the extraterrestrial fetish collection gathered in humanity’s honor (“Secrets of the Alien Reliquary”). Trials of faith form the collection’s backbone; a disciple cares for an aging, paralyzed Jesus in “Sequel on Skorpiós,” while the paroled murderer of a transgender teenager learns to repent not from the religious propaganda he’s forced to watch but from within in “Yahweh’s Hour.” Humor plays a part as well, as in “The Contributors to Plenum Four,” a gleefully irreverent collection of fake author bios whose works (with titles like “Quasars and Cumquats”) fill the pages of a phony anthology. But even the sweeter pieces contain sharp bits that stick in the throat, like the memory of a kindly elderly neighbor who develops Alzheimer’s in “Tears.” The result will be a treat for any fan of speculative fiction. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/03/2021
Release date: 11/16/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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