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13 Phantasms - A brief review   —   Books

The first short story collection from author James P. Blaylock winner of the Philip K. Dick Award- features sixteen thought-provoking forays into the fantastic. From a tale of alien influence on an ordinary neighborhood to the story of one man's self-destructive obsession with a dragon.

-=Reviewed =-

James P. Blaylock is one of my favorite authors. Eight years ago I came across his novel, All the Bells on Earth, while browsing the local bookstore looking for a new novel to sink my teenage teeth into. I picked up his novel and after reading it I was completely enamored with Blaylock's imagination and elegant writing style. His descriptive voice, inventive twists, and colorful (yet often dark) characters put me on the path to all of his work and since then I've not been disappointed. 13 Phantasms is a collection of short stories previously published in various sci-fi magazines and websites. They are all in different form and style, and they reflect Blaylock's growth as a writer and the different paths he's chosen as a storyteller. All wonderfully written and extremely inventive I was impressed with the book as a whole. Some stories I liked more than others as I'm more a fan of Blaylock's later style and voice than his earlier work, but all of them are of equal quality.

The short story, Nets of Silver and Gold, was probably my favorite. It was originally published in 1984 in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. The story is about an odd man (who was equally odd as a boy) who discovers a magical door in the room he's renting in an old hotel. The story is told from the point of view of the man's childhood friend who he runs into at a restaurant. A high recommendation for anyone who loves science fiction, fantasy, or just a little something out of the ordinary.

Posted 10.10.2003

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