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Wilson, Robert Charles. The Perseids and other stories.

Tor. 224p. c2000. 0-312-87524-X. $12.95. SA

Only three of the tales included here have not been published previously, but that doesn't make this collection any less compelling. Each story is thought provoking and provides its reader with a glimpse into a bizarre but not too unreal world. In fact, Wilson presents the stories as interrelated; they begin and end with tales involving a past and future owner of the local bookstore, Finders. In the first new story, "The Fields of Abraham," a young man enters the bookstore on several occasions to release the stress of the day by playing chess with the owner. While there, he encounters a portal leading him to a plane of existence that may be the afterlife, and finds that his total existence has been altered. In "The Observer," a girl is obsessed with the fact that aliens are following her, while in the new story "Ulysses Sees the Moon in the Bedroom Window" readers ponder the existence of a Superior Being as well as the possible comparative qualities between humans and cats. In "Inner Inner City," after an intellectual challenge is proposed with friends, Jeremy first becomes obsessed with winning the competition and then with devising and practicing his self-created religion. Later, Deirdre gives birth to a strange creature that she struggles to understand in the new short story "Pearl Baby." Within each tale, the reader is immersed in the main character's thoughts and unique perceptions of the world. An afterword by the author is provided for the "Diligent Reader" and provides insight into the creation and execution of these tales. Including a combination of SE fantasy, and horror tales, Wilson has created an engrossing collection here that will be fulfilling for those readers who want to be challenged as well as for those who have enjoyed Wilson's previous work. Ginger Armstrong, Principal Lib. Assoc., Chesterfield Cry PL., Chesterfield, VA
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Author:Armstrong, Ginger
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2002
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