- File Size: 1659 KB
- Print Length: 401 pages
- Publisher: Open Road Media (July 22, 2014)
- Publication Date: July 22, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00LF22F8W
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #789,060 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Resurrection Man's Legacy: And Other Stories Kindle Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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I liked the variety of the stories, but also the theme of the father that wound through most of them. I didn't really have a favorite, but In Green's Dominion made me feel a strange regret and longing. It was also a perfect piece to end the book.
I would recommend this collection to those who love English literature, fantasy that does not involve elves and wizards, and readers who like stories with a moral imperative that does not rant stridently in your ear. This is a book for romantic scientists and dreamers with a streak of pragmatism.
I like you, Dale Bailey.
And what a collection it is! You probably won't read a better amalgation of sci-fi/horror stories this year (or in the next couple of years for that matter). The collection opens with the title story, a very touching and imaginative tale about a boy who's dead father is resurrected into a robot-like man. I dare anyone to read this story and not feel completely emotionally torn in the end.
Death and Sufferage is another great zombie story (a theme that Bailey often touches upon) that will remain in your mind for quite some time. Touched and Quinn's Way are stories about childhood, the kind of coming-of-age tales only an expert writer is able to write. These are stories that are effective in all the right places, pushing all the right buttons. And The Census Taker is a story that feels like vintage Stephen King but that is even more emotionally gripping.
It's impossible to pick a favourite out of this collection. Bailey's writing is reminiscent of the early Ray Bradbury, only with more feeling, more nuance. Bradbury's writing could often feel cold; Bailey's is very warm, rich and demanding. The author has a way with words that is worthy of poetry. Beautiful prose graces every story, a thing that isn't easy to find in genre fiction. If there is such a thing as literary sci-fi/horror, I guess this is it!
I urge anyone who hasn't tried Dale Bailey to do so, and fast. That is one name that will, soon enough, become a major player in genre fiction. The fact that his stories are accessible to all and not just a small core audience only broadens his horizon. A major and important collection by a man who hasn't finished impressing us.
A little over a year ago, I read and reviewed (quite favorably) Dale Bailey's novel House of Bones. (ed. note: May 10, 2004) I'd been meaning to get round to reading him again since then, but somehow a year passed before I picked up my next Bailey book: this substantial collection of short stories. I knew from reading House of Bones that I should be expecting good things, but then I read the introduction, penned by no less a personage than Barry N. Malzberg, author of more underrated science fiction classics than you can comfortably shake a small alder at (if you've not read The Sodom and Gomorroah Business, at least, shame on you). Malzberg's introduction to this book is jaw-dropping, especially for a man who, the few times he blurbs something, always seems to be damning with faint praise. Here, he is heralding a collection that, he intimates, should be canonized immediately, comparing it to the definitive collections of John Varley and Theodore Sturgeon. That, folks, is some heady stuff. Now, as I said, I knew Dale Bailey was capable of good, perhaps great, things. Malzberg's introduction had me believing I'd be placing this on the short shelf next to Piccirilli's A Choir of Ill Children as one of the finest achievements in modern dark fantasy.
The comparison turned out to be more accurate than I could have guessed. Bailey, a North Carolina boy, has assumed the mantle of southern gothic, mastered it, and bent it to his will in quite the same way Piccirilli has, and with similar results. This is not to say that The Resurrection Man's Legacy... is a collection of southern gothic tales; while a few are certainly in that vein ("The Census Taker," especially, has a distinct smell of whatever herbs were used in Carson McCullers' coffin), Bailey's palette of influences stretches a mite farther than Yoknapatawpha County. The collection's title story has its roots quite obviously in "I Sing the Body Electric," and anyone who's read that story knows what's going to happen here. (Not that this, either, was a surprise; House of Bones has its roots in more haunted house tales than one can count, from The House on Haunted Hill to Poltergeist III.) What separates Bailey from your run-of-the-mill plagiarist hack is that at no time while reading "The Resurrection Man's Legacy" will you get the impression you're actually reading "I Sing the Body Electric." Nor, for that matter, that you're reading anything other than Dale Bailey. His is a voice that is as distinct as the sound of winter wind down the face of Stone Mountain. Bailey has obviously taken into consideration the old saw that there's nothing new under the sun; here, he takes the old and makes it new again in a number of cases. Of course, there are others, where taking the old and making it new again takes on, well, a whole new set of meanings ("Death and Suffrage," for example, is a wonderful spin on the cliché that the dead have been voting in Chicago since Prohibition).
Dale Bailey is, in fact, a fantastic writer. If you haven't yet gotten to know his work, you should. The novels are likely easier to find these days, but if you get the chance, hunt this collection down. You'll be glad you made the effort.