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The Bible Repairman and Other Stories
Gathering darkly fantastic short fiction previously available only in limited editions, this collection explores the mysteries of souls -- whether they are sacrificed on the pinnacle of Mount Parnassus or lodged in a television cable box. In a Kabbalistic tale of transformation, the executor of an old friend's will is almost duped into housing his soul. In a tale of time travel between 2015 and 1975, a tragedy sparked by an angel falling onto a pizza shop is re-enacted -- and the event is barely, but fatally, altered. The cornerstone of the collection is a postscript to the harrowing novel of the haunting of the Romantic poets, The Stress of Her Regard. Once Byron and Shelley break free of the succubus that claimed them, their associate, Trelawny, forges an alliance with Greek rebels to re-establish the deadly connection between man and the nephilim. Fans of Powers's renowned secret histories will delight as he deftly weaves an array of fantastical creatures into richly layered narratives of the past.
Terrible choices face the protagonists of six poignant pieces by historical fantasist Powers (On Stranger Tides). Some must learn to release their ghosts, like the eponymous contractor who customizes Bibles by removing unwanted passages. Others learn to hold on, like the twin who has to deal with the return of her smothering sister's spirit in "Parallel Lines." The alternative is to be stuck in the past by traumas that not even time travel can unravel, as in "The Hour of Babel." Characters aren't daunted by the Nephelim ("A Time to Cast Away Stones," coda to 1989's The Stress of Her Regard), a notorious artist seeking a second chance ("A Soul in a Bottle"), or the sorcerous last will of a college friend ("A Journey of Only Two Paces"), but Powers makes them face the scariest challenges of all: the hidden desires of their own hearts. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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August 31, 2011
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