Frankensteins and Foreign Devils

Curl up with a good book!
by Walter Jon Williams | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 9781886778306 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 6/1/2021
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, June 1, 2021
I found this softcover at a local Goodwill thrift shop. From the stamp on the flyleaf it's one of NESFA's publications, possibly given out in gift bags at conventions. The stories range from alternate-history to fantasy to SF, and there are illustrations by Omar Rayyan. Among my favorite entries:

"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.]

Released 1 mo ago (6/21/2021 UTC) at Little Free Library, Webster St. in Andover, Massachusetts USA


Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in the Little Free Library; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2021 Science Fiction challenge. ***

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