Share for friends:

The Perseids And Other Stories (2001)

The Perseids and Other Stories (2001)

Book Info

3.86 of 5 Votes: 2
Your rating
031287524X (ISBN13: 9780312875244)
tor books

About book The Perseids And Other Stories (2001)

I've read and never less than enjoyed (more usually been bowled over by) several of Wilson's novels but not encountered his short fiction before. This is his first and so far only collection -- nine tales, most of novelette length -- and it most assuredly doesn't disappoint. If there's a weak story at all it's the last one in the book, "Pearl Baby", which was as elegantly and movingly written as all the others, but with a premise which failed to convince me and a denouement that didn't (as I'd anticipated it would) resolve that problem. But the remaining eight are of such a standard that it's hard to know where to begin in describing them; to try to select standouts among them would be futile. There are shared characters and background elements among the stories, most notably a second-hand bookshop called Finders whose proprietor is in some way beyond the merely human, but these details (as Wilson cheerily admits in his Afterword) aren't consistent and shouldn't be regarded as too important. To my mind a more significant shared characteristic seems to be that all of Wilson's narrators/viewpoint characters are, to a greater or lesser extent, broken, incomplete, flawed characters -- their flaws in several instances, such as "Plato's Mirror", being a mainspring of the plot. In "The Observer" (the only UFO-related story I have ever read that I can remember much enjoying) there's no reason for us to believe that the narrator is flawed beyond her belief that she must be; in a sense the story is about her slowly learning -- thanks to the intervention of Edwin Hubble, of all people! -- that she isn't. For most of Wilson's protagonists here, however, the discovery they make is that they have cause for even greater despair. They lose rather than gain loved ones. They lose what they'd believed to be the stability in their lives. In "The Inner Inner City" a transcendent being of some undefined kind, passing as human, takes it upon itself to steal the narrator's wife through plunging the narrator into a sort of spiritual quest -- obsession, really -- involving urban cartography: the search for that heart of a city which no map shows. Yet our narrator is able to place this heart on  the map he compiles, and even finds his way into "the inner inner city", half-realizing that it's a trap even as he does so: What Michelle hadn't said, what Michelle hadn't guessed and Dierdre hadn't figured out, was that a temporal deity, even a minor and malevolent one, must own all the maps, all the ordinary and the hidden maps, all the blueprints and bibles and Baedekers of all the places that are or might be or have ever been. As always, Wilson's writing is exquisite, his voice calm and restrained even when -- as in a couple of these stories -- the events are feverish. A wonderful collection.

Do You like book The Perseids And Other Stories (2001)?

A very satisfying collection from Robert Charles Wilson- even if the blurb was leading me to expect something more towards the sf side of things than horror...I'll go story by story. (view spoiler)["The Fields of Abraham" - Interesting. Not much else to say about it."The Perseids" - Very scary, and Lovecraftian in tone- in fact, I believe I might have read it first in a Lovecraftian horror collection of some sort, as it was vaguely familiar. Plus it has some fascinating thoughts on the purpose of life on Earth..."The Inner Inner City" - Very interesting, with an impending sense of doom that even the narrator acknowledges. They never did quite establish what John Carver was, although I bet Deirdre's theory was the closest."The Observer" - A very interesting alien-abduction story, with an interesting set of real-life characters."Protocols of Consumption" - Very creepy, felt like something I would've seen on Tales from the Darkside back when I was little. Then again, bugs are good for that..."Ulysses Sees the Moon in the Bedroom Window" - Short, sweet, and excellent- nicely subtle ending that took me a minute to get."Plato's Mirror" - The idea of "seeing what reality is truly like would not be pleasant" has been done plenty in Cthulhu Mythos fiction, but it was executed pretty well here."Divided by Infinity" - Probably my favorite story in the book- fun with probability, ideas traveling through time, alternate realities and discontinuities. The idea that the weirder and more interesting your life is, the more improbable you yourself have become, is fascinating."Pearl Baby" - I didn't actually like this one as much as the others. Then again, he did say he wrote it just before the book went to print... (hide spoiler)]
—James Bowman

download or read online

Read Online

Write Review

(Review will shown on site after approval)

Other books by author Robert Charles Wilson

Other books in category Horror