Frankensteins and Foreign Devils
ISBN: 9781886778306 Global Overview for this book
1 journaler for this copy...
"Woundhealer", set in Fred Saberhagen's "Swords" universe, is a fantasy tale in which a crude and greedy small-scale lord acquires a very special sword - not realizing that its particular abilities will gradually strengthen all of his much-tried family members, to the point where he won't be able to abuse or control them any more. The influence is subtle at first, but I really enjoyed seeing how the most ill-treated of the family began to find the strength to push back.
"Red Elvis" is an alternate-history book in which the famous singer does not accept being drafted, and kicks off a career as a revolutionary and a civil-rights ally, leading to a surprising and history-changing sacrifice - and the revelation as to just when the Presley family history departed from that of the real events.
"Prayers on the Wind", which I'd read in the When the Music's Over anthology - see my comments in that JE.
"Foreign Devils", which I'd read before in War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches, stories about Wells' Martian invasion as if reported by different authors in other parts of the world.
"Erogenoscope", in which technology allows for excruciatingly-detailed simulations of surgeries - here, used by the main character to perfect his plans for the flawless new body intended for a famous beauty who plans to have her own memories downloaded into her new, improved, and much younger self. But the technology also leads to the covetousness of people who want to have a virtual-reality experience doing... other things... to the bodies of those they covet, and a very wealthy and powerful man intends to acquire the simulations of the beauty. Some intriguing ethical issues here - and a delightful author's note at the end, where Williams mentions talking about virtual-surgery technology on a panel at an SF convention, including his ideas about people wanting to commit virtual crimes. "I became aware that the audience was staring at me in horror. I looked to my left, and saw the author Vernor Vinge scribbling in his notebook. I looked to my right, and there was Bruce Sterling likewise taking notes. I better write this story fast, I said to myself." Hee!
[There's a TV Tropes page on the author and some of his work.]
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