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Charles Stross, "Overtime"

2017: CTHULHU FOR CHRISTMAS

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Review: Beautiful Ugly: And Other Weirdness

Beautiful Ugly: And Other Weirdness Beautiful Ugly: And Other Weirdness by Thomas S. Flowers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: BEAUTIFUL UGLY: AND OTHER WEIRDNESS by Thomas S. Flowers

What shines for me in this collection (and recalling other short stories, novellas, and novels I have read by this author, this quality is present throughout his oeuvre) is thoughtfulness. Mr. Flowers KNOWS his characters, and clearly he not only spends time writing their stories--he spends an immense amount of time and THOUGHT in identifying each, from core to their external behavior and environment in which they live, move, and have their being.

Let me proffer some examples, without revealing:
"The Ascension of Henry Porter" is ostensibly a story of curing terminal illness and setting death Into pause mode . Sounds admirable! Seems desirable! Pray you never find yourself in the implacable clutches of the evil scientific mastermind of the Alcove Corporation: death will be the least of your worries; in fact, death will be impossible. This story scared the living blazes out of me--even though I'm not likely to ever be in a similar impasse.

Then there is the eponymous "Beautiful Ugly," a story whose character depths kept me in tears, both on behalf of the protagonist, and also grieving for a society, contemporary and historical, which cannot encompass, much less tolerate or respect, the unknown. I had to pause my reading and walk away for a bit.

These are but two examples out of eleven stories, each of which deserves careful and consideration. Watch this author: he is truly going places, but unlike a shooting star, his path is ever upward.



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