Monday, July 2, 2012

Something Magic This Way Comes ed. Martin Greenberg

Something Magic This Way Comes ed. Martin H. Greenberg.

All of the short stories in this collection have the central theme of magic. Some are haunting, "Still Life, with Cats" (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) and "Houdini's Mirror"(Russell Davis) while others verge on the comical with feminist overtones, "Angel in the Cabbages," (Fran LaPlace).

While the magic isn't new (fairies or parallel universes), the circumstances are contemporary. In the best stories the main characters use magic as a transformative force. A jaded war correspondent gains a new perspective when he has a brush with magic in "Still Life, With Cats." An older man with dementia finds a way to convene with his dead wife in "Houdini's Mirror."

In "Winds of Change," (Linda A.B. Davis) a young girl, whose body has been ravaged by disease, saves the town by exhibiting a rare talent--the power to call the wind. In the short story, "In a DarkWood, Dreaming" (Esther Friesner), a boy saves his brother from gangs by calling upon a hunter god, Oxossi. Unfortunately, the hunter god requires "one life for another life."

In "Something Virtual This Way Comes" (Laura Resnick) a woman, who is frustrated by the gremlins in her computer is suprised to learn they can speak to her.

Less successful offerings are "Tears of Gold"(Paul Crilley), "Star Cats"(Charles Edgar Quinn), and "The Thing in the Woods" (Harry Turtledove).