From Publishers Weekly
The 10 stories in this collection from British author Brown (Engineman
) thoughtfully address questions of morality, life and death while creating deeply personal worlds. Two of the best are "The Children of Winter," about a first contact gone awry and its repercussion years later, and "Hunting the Slarque," about a man brought back from death who hunts down the creature that killed him. Death—or its absence—weaves together three stories set in a post–first contact Earth where the alien Kéthani have abolished death, including "The Kéthani Inheritance," in which a man has to come to terms with his resurrected, abusive father, and "Thursday's Child," in which a terminally ill girl's parents fight over whether to give her the implant that would guarantee her immortality. While some readers may feel the stories stop short of a full resolution, all can appreciate the graceful writing. (Sept.)
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"The Children of Winter" opens Brown's collection with a tale of love between members of alien species taught to despise each other and of the discovery, after years of ignorance, of a terrible truth. "Thursday's Child," "The Kethani Inheritance," and "The Touch of Angels"--set in Brown's Kethani world, in which the alien Kethani have come to Earth and offered eternal life through implants that bring people back after death--detail the consequences of human mistrust of the strange and new and the implications of life after death. In the volume closer, "The Hunting of the Slarque," a wealthy man brings Hunter back from death to capture the creature that killed him: the last descendant of a sentient species on the planet Tartarus, which orbits a sun about to go nova. Brown's stories (there are six more, one coauthored by Stephen Baxter), with their focuses on the effects of the extraordinary on everyday people, make for most satisfying reading. Regina SchroederCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved