Tripping the Tale Fantastic

Edited by Christopher Jon Heuer. Handtype, $22 trade paper (198p) ISBN 978-1-941960-08-0
In this scattershot collection, 20 authors who are deaf or hard of hearing provide 19 speculative stories with a wide range of themes, tones, and genres. Some of the selections explicitly feature deaf or hard of hearing characters; others do not. The overall feel is of a literary collection that relies heavily on inconclusive endings, shock twists, or dry humor. More often than not, conclusions fall flat, as in Willy Conley’s “The Ear,” which undermines an otherwise-satisfying buildup involving a deaf runner finding a severed ear, or Kristen Harmon’s “Spirit Box,” about a couple investigating Civil War ghosts. Some tales depict the hearing-impaired as a separate race unto themselves, as in John Lee Clark’s “The Vibrating Mouth.” There are some interesting concepts and premises here, but very few of the stories reach their full potential. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/11/2017
Genre: Fiction
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