clandestine love affair between the bishop's human daughter and a winged statue half-breed, ourhybrid protagonist quests to redeem the church's occupants who are in a constant state of civilwar.Even Christ himself makes an appearance."The Fountains" by Ursula K. Le Guin is a short piece written in 1960 about a political prisoner whoescapes his custody and creates his own asylumwalking through the streets of Versailles.William F. Nolan's "Coincidence" is a clever tale about a man who is literally his own worst enemy. Nolanrefers to this as his "Mobius Strip" story. The tension and build-up are masterful and the ending isn'ttheend.In "Excerpts from 'Sidney's Comet'" by Brian Herbert, Sidney is an AmFed bureaucrat in a polluted,wasteful future. He is the unlikely hero, being set up to fight an impending alien invasion, and hissuperiors are counting on him to fail."Crater the Earth" by Kathleen Alcalá is a more traditional story, less science fiction than the rest. Themain character has a spiritual moment, but then comes to doubt that it happened after the revelry of the evening leading up to it causes a wildfire resulting in her family's evacuation.Kevin J. Anderson's "Drilling Deep" would have made an excellent episode of The Twilight Zone. Thestory centers around a man whose recent visit with his archeologist son sets him to imagining thatdigging below the ground is really a trip back in time.
was he imagining?"The Scenery of Paradise" by Patrick Swensonis a fun world-jumping story. "One man's paradise isanother man's" or so the saying goes.Ray Vukcevich's"Going Places" is a very inventive tale told from multiple viewpoints. A woman'sneighborhood seems different. Not quite the way she remembered or was it? She doubts her ownrecollection but then discovers that her neighbor is behind some strange happenings. When sheconfronts him, he explains that he just wants to make his business trips as convenient as possible.In "Blood Tunnel" by Tamara Kaye Sellman, it's going to take some magic and a leap of faith to escapethe bible-thumping rednecks and the bloody weeds.Anyone who's spent a length of time near Pasco,Washington can relate to this post-apocalyptic civil war story.Robbi is the title character in "A Special Child" by James Glass. Although he can't speak, he has anamazing ability which allows him to warp reality. Remarkably, he is able to bond with his teacher, who isalso paranormally gifted: she can communicate through mental images. In some ways, this story isreminiscent of the Twilight Zone episode "It's A Good Life", except that the child in this story is nevermalevolent."The Dead Man's Child" by Jay Lake isone of the best pieces in the collection. In a futuristic spacevernacular, Lake gives us a single scene that tells a complete story through superb characterization anddialog.