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One could argue that the idea of a world where magic works has been done to death in the realm of fantasy fiction. Whether you’re talking about urban fantasy set in the present day or fiction with a more historical bent, it’s a creative vein that has been pretty thoroughly mined.

And yet, when it works, it REALLY works. And Tom Miller’s “The Philosopher’s Flight” (Simon & Schuster, $26) REALLY works.

Published in Buzz

The best short fiction embraces the limitations of the form and turns them into foundational strengths. There’s a power in brevity that many writers can never fully harness, their work coming off as either overwritten or clumsily truncated.

But when someone displays a true mastery, literary brilliance often follows.

And so it is with “The Largesse of the Sea Maiden” (Random House, $27), a quintet of stories from the late Denis Johnson that explore the writer’s longstanding fascination with the freaks and fakes that exist on the fringes of society. Each one of these five tales can be held up as a masterpiece and a masterclass, powerfully evocative and poetically emotive even as the unsavory seediness and/or deliberate disconnect displayed by the characters bubbles and oozes to the surface.

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We all want to get the most out of the lives we live. But how might your life’s path change if someone told you the day on which it would end?

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 06 December 2017 12:05

‘The Forever Ship’ a fitting ending

Novel marks finale of excellent speculative trilogy

Published in Buzz

Debut novel an entertaining flight of fantasy fancy

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 08:50

Life during wartime – ‘Manhattan Beach’

Latest from Jennifer Egan a masterful, powerful work

Published in Style
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 10:51

Perchance to dream - ‘Sleeping Beauties’

A haunting collaboration from Stephen & Owen King

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:53

American dreams – ‘The Golden House’

Rushdie’s latest novel a sharp and engaging epic

Published in Style
Wednesday, 06 September 2017 12:51

Of hives and hubris – ‘The History of Bees’

Some of the best speculative fiction comes from taking a kernel of reality and extrapolating it both outward and inward, building a compelling and interesting world anchored by a baseline of truth.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 12:19

The world according to Gork

Gabe Hudson’s “Gork, the Teenage Dragon”

Published in Buzz
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