THE RESURRECTION MAN'S LEGACY: And Other Stories
In Bailey's somber story collection, his first, tension often radiates from the uneasy relationship between parent and child, and the dead seldom rest easy. In the title tale, a 12-year-old boy copes with the unwelcome gift of a "simulated person" to fill the emotional gap left by his father's death. The moody "Death and Suffrage" begins with the blackly comic premise of the dead rising to vote in a close presidential election, but drifts to a lonely, if inconclusive, ending. Meanwhile, zombies of a different sort, bodies grown to provide organs for transplant, provide the gritty, grisly setting for "The Anencephalic Fields." The dark-touched souls of the small-town characters of "Quinn's Way," "Touched" and "The Census Taker" bring to mind the deft chill of Ray Bradbury's early work. With his thoughtful, frequently elegiac prose, Bailey has a knack for crisp, compelling family drama strung on a web of fantasy. (Nov.)
Forecast: Most of these stories first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. An introduction by Barry Malzberg will help draw the attention of those unfamiliar with Bailey, who has also published a mass-market horror novel, The Fallen (2002), with a second, House of Bones, due in December.