Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

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A Friday Afternoon "Gap In The Phone Interviews" Review: "Bear's Fantasies"

Greg Bear is probably best known for his harder-than-hard SF. With novels like The Forge Of God and Eon he rewrote the rules of the big dumb object story, and explored the emotional impact of the unknown. But he's not just an SF writer - he's also well known for his recent biological thrillers. One thing many people forget is that Bear's first few works included a pair of fantasy novels (later collected as Songs Of Earth And Power).

Bears shorter works encapsulate some of his best writing, and Bear's Fantasies is a collection of some of his fantastic short fictions. Ranging from the darkness of "Webster" to the surreal wonder of a world where God really is dead and the stone children of a cathedral live and walk in "Petra", they move through alternate Second World Wars in "Through Road, No Whither", to the modern urban fairytale of "Sleepside Story". "Dead Run", about truckers carting the dead to hell, and the moral crises they find on the road is an enjoyable diversion, while "The White Horse Child" is a tale about story and the way the world tries to keep it hidden. These are disturbing, discomforting stories, that try to change the way you look at the world. Even the innocent, simple world of Sleepside hides a darker past, redolant of prohibition Chicago, and of the darker side of faerie.

Bear is a consummate writer, and there is much in this slim little yellow volume to recommend him to an audience beyond his regular SF readers. It's also an excellent introduction to his short fiction, and will kepe you entertained and intrigued long after you close the final page.

Well worth tracking down.
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