"A winning fantasy anthology"
This fantasy anthology consists of eight delightful but
strange short stories and one superb novella all written in
the last decade. Each tale consists of an individual(s)
whose frailties and desires (in some cases these are the
frailties) lead to wrong turns in worlds that seem like our
own yet feel different. The novella, "Haunted Humans", is
a powerful story that will shake the souls of readers.
Ghosts and humans argue, fuss, and fight often inside
someone's head at the Mental Healing Center to keep Dorothy
Jean safe from Chase, who may also be residing inside a
The stories feel absolutely weird as if Rod Serling visited
a not quite normal earth that at first glance seems like
ours, but overlaid in a fantasy environs. All nine
contributions will delight the audience, but no doubt the
novella is the stand out that will send readers seeking
Nina Kiriki Hoffman's novels (see PAST THE SIZE OF DREAMING
and FISTFUL OF SKY).
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted April 23, 2003
The nine fantasies in this collection firmly establish Hoffman's versatility and gifts. The time travelers of the title appear in "Mint Condition," traveling back from a polluted future in search of collectible comic books--and open sky. The ghosts show up in "Haunted Humans," in which a team of them shares the consciousness of a young man drawn into a desperate struggle to save a young woman from a serial killer; it is dark fantasy of a very high order. Not much below it are "The Skeleton Key," in which the god Hermes rescues a victim of Satanists, and "Unleashed," in which two werecreatures form a partnership when a single weremother needs a baby-sitter during her change. Satires on hand include "Toobychubbies" and "Objects of Desire," nominally about alien invasions; "Night Life," about princesses spending their nights in the land of Faerie; and "Entertaining Possibilities," about a very weird family that considers a son-in-law unworthy of them. With nary a purple or ill-chosen word in sight, this is contemporary short fantasy at its best. Roland Green
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