Breathmoss and Other Exhalations

Overview

This collection of literary short fiction combines fantasy, science fiction, and horror in vivid settings, peopled with ordinary humans with normal relationships, and the interaction of the mundane with the fantastic. In ?Breathmoss,? a young girl must cope with the relationship with her family, love, and a community set in rigid custom, where males are a rarity. In ?Verglas,? a man must decide to leave his humanity by going native on an ice world or abandon his family. The events leading to the formation of the ...

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Overview

This collection of literary short fiction combines fantasy, science fiction, and horror in vivid settings, peopled with ordinary humans with normal relationships, and the interaction of the mundane with the fantastic. In “Breathmoss,” a young girl must cope with the relationship with her family, love, and a community set in rigid custom, where males are a rarity. In “Verglas,” a man must decide to leave his humanity by going native on an ice world or abandon his family. The events leading to the formation of the current government, the repression of Jews and homosexuals, and the horrors of being a closet homosexual in such a regime are examined in “The Summer Isles.” Other stories encompass a scientist who searches for extraterrestrial intelligence; a rigid, aged man finding magic by a pool; and an 18-year-old girl who gains the reputation of being a death flower during WWII.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“MacLeod is rapidly becoming one of the contemporary stars of the genre.” —Brian Aldiss

“One of the very best writers working in the genre here at the beginning of the 21st century.”  —Gardner Dozois

Publishers Weekly
The seven long short stories (originally published from 1996 to 2001 mostly in magazines like Asimov's Science Fiction) that make up this literate collection from British author MacLeod (The Light Ages) range from the pleasantly fantastic ("The Noonday Pool") to all-out, straight-up SF weird ("Verglas"). In the title tale, a girl named Jalila comes of age on Habara, a planet peopled almost entirely by women. Jalila befriends a boy and an old woman who navigates starships, both oddities on her world, and inevitably, the two clash, with disastrous results. The protagonist of "The Chop Girl," set during WWII, is so called because pilots who dance with her end up dead, killed in battle. Walt Williams, a golden pilot, the epitome of good luck, seeks her out, for reasons both simple and complex, and the chop girl finds out whether she's really somehow causing the deaths or she simply draws soldiers to her when they lose hope. Typically in each tale, a distinctive protagonist faces some task or challenge, goes through loss or some kind of trauma and grows from the experience. MacLeod sensitively explores the human condition. Agent, Susan Ann Protter. (June) FYI: The book's final entry, "The Summer Isles," won a World Fantasy Award and was nominated for a Hugo. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781930846265
  • Publisher: Golden Gryphon Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2004
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian R. MacLeod is the author of The Great Wheel, The Light Ages, and Voyages by Starlight. His work has been nominated for the Nebula and Hugo awards and has won the World Fantasy Award, Locus Award, Sidewise Award, and Asimov’s Reader’s Poll.

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Table of Contents

Big Lies ix
Breathmoss 3
Verglas 68
The Chop Girl 104
The Noonday Pool 126
New Light on the Drake Equation 157
Isabel of the Fall 212
The Summer Isles 235
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