Tombs

Edited by Edward E. Kramer and Peter Crowther

White Wolf Publishing. $19.99
(paper $5.99)


"Original fiction by masters of science fiction, fantasy, and suspense," reads the dustjacket. It says little else.

Inside are 23 short stories, competently written; there are a couple of dogs, and several stories that are very good indeed. One gem is "The Time Garden" by Ian McDonald; another is William F. Buckley, Jr.'s "The Temptation of Wilfred Malachey," described as Buckley's "one work of fantasy." Other noted authors include Michael Moorcock, Michael Bishop, Charles deLint, Ben Bova, and Neil Gaiman.

The premise of the anthology is nebulous, but, as the title suggests, a metaphor of tombs runs through many of the stories: from the old question about Grant's tomb to Lazarus to a city neighborhood called The Tombs.

Unexpectedly, given this theme, several of the stories are optimistically bright, such as "The Time Garden," "Wilfred Malachey," deLint's "Heartfires," or S.P. Somtow's "But None I Think Do There Embrace." Black humor is also inevitable: Jeremy Dyson's "City Deep," the devastating puns of Forrest Ackerman's "Tomb Swift," Christopher Fowler's delightfully (and blackly) warped "Ginansia's Ravishment."

Tombs amounts to an understated package that could be easily, but undeservedly, overlooked. Consider this an encouragement to read it.

 

Also edited by Edward E. Kramer and Peter Crowther:

 

Dante's Disciples. White Wolf Publishing, 1995

This review copyright 1996 by Wendy Morris


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