cover image If Angels Fight

If Angels Fight

Richard Bowes. Fairwood (, $16.99 trade paper (250p) ISBN 978-1-933846-40-8

Bowes’s career as a speculative fiction writer began in the 1980s, after SF’s New Wave had retreated, but in many ways he seems like the last standard-bearer of that movement’s tattered flag. This superlative collection contains a dozen wide-ranging short works, including the autobiographical “On Death and the Deuce,” the Cheeveresque “The Ferryman’s Wife,” and a tale of great powers contending across time itself in “A Member of the Wedding of Heaven and Hell.” Also included are short forewords discussing the genesis of each story and the laurels it has earned. Ineluctably urban, observant, and honest without being cruel, Bowes chooses his words with cool precision, combining artistic ambition and clarity; readers will be unsurprised that Bowes has won honors as diverse as the Nebula, Lambda, International Horror Guild, and World Fantasy awards, as well as a wealth of nominations. In a field too often satisfied with unambitious convention, Bowes shows what can be achieved by an author with vision and skill. (Oct.)