Greg Ketter: Shelf Life: Fantastic Stories Celebrating Bookstores

Greg Ketter, owner of Minneapolis’ DreamHaven books describes this volume as a labor of love, and that’s evident. But its thematic focus is so narrow that it’s probably better dipped into than read straight-through: it’s a bit too easy to play spot-the-trope (haunted bookstore, haunted books, store-of-books-never-written, store-of-books-that-warp-reality), and I found the quality uneven.

I give top honors to Gene Wolfe’s “From the Cradle,” which plays with one of his favorite themes in a surprising and pleasantly multi-layered context, P.D. Cacek’s grim but not hopeless story set shortly after Kristallnacht, Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s unsettling “Escapes,” and Patrick Weekes’ wry “‘I Am Looking for a Book…'”

Published by therealsummervillain

likes: equality, making things easier to use, biking, jangle, distortion, monogamy dislikes: bigotry, policies that jeopardize people, lack of transparency

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