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The Mutant Files Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2001
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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From Publishers Weekly
"The word mutant carries different connotations depending upon the point of view of the person who hears it," Helfers (Star Colonies) notes in his introduction. Unfortunately, the title of this well-balanced anthology of 16 short stories may mislead readers. Indeed, freaky alien beings and comic book characters are in short supply here. Rather, these tales (which are written by the likes of Alan Dean Foster, Charles de Lint and Michelle West) draw readers into the worlds of everyday people who possess extraordinary powers: a Native American Indian who hits the jackpot on slot machines because he can smell the flow of electrons; a lithograph salesman whose ability to read people's minds is both a blessing and a curse; a newlywed wife who finds herself trapped in a New England version of Brigadoon; and a meteorologist who can control the weather through his moods. Elements of SF, horror and even fantasy are woven throughout these stories, making them appealing to fans of all three genres. Even though a few entries depict mutants that have the same bizarre physical abilities, these characters are drawn so eloquently and sympathetically that it's difficult not to feel an affinity for each of them.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
From Charles de Lint's tale of a young man whose ability to hear thoughts proves both a blessing and a curse (Freak) to Jody Lynn Nye's story of mutants exiled from a hostile earth ( Rite of Passage), the 16 original tales in this collection examine the plight of individuals born with psychic powers and strange talents. Contributions from Tanya Huff, Janet Berliner, Alan Dean Foster, and other sf and fantasy veterans ensure a strong and varied anthology that belongs in most sf collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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Not so much this time, I'm afraid.
The book TRIES hard...it's actually one of the few that sticks pretty well to its theme of mutants. It's just that I found virtually none of the stories very INTERESTING. They wandered rather than getting on with the story. They were meandering "feely" pieces rather than what I'd call actual "science fiction". Many took a page to describe a situation that should have been covered in a paragraph, as if the author was aiming for a novella rather than a short story.
One story stood out for me, that being Tanya Huff's "Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice". But that was about it.
Possibly I was in a sour mood when I read through this book, though I don't think so--it was part of the rotation on the headboard like everything else. It definitely didn't "click" for me; your mileage may vary.
Freak by Charles de Lint - power of telepathy, well written, nice surprise ending
Sugar and Spice by Tanya Huff - immortal child w. power to read thoughts as well as direct them. Perfect horror SF story. May turn you on to read more shorts by this author.
Killing of Bad Bull by Alan Dean Foster - fun light hearted story of guy able to pick winning slot machines.
In the Dark Valley by Brendan DuBois - Fantastic story of immortality and discovery.
Sensitives by Nina Hoffman - Wonderful story about loneliness and being able to read the experiences of prior owners of pennies.
Unimpressive stories in the anthology include; Great Deep by Sophie Masson, Paint Box by Lisanne Norman, Interview with a Mutant by Janet Berliner, and Family by Fiona Patton.
Unlike other anthologies in which the editors draw on decades of previously published stories to cull the finest, the editors for this book appeared to have chosen new stories solicited for this book. The merit of course is that you won't be paying for stories easily found in other collections over the years. The negative side is that included are the small number of stories mentioned above that are less than admirable.
Overall, the great stories in this collection make this book very much worth the purchase.