cover image The Thing About Great White Sharks

The Thing About Great White Sharks

Rebecca Adams Wright. Little A, $14.95 trade paper (202p) ISBN 978-1-4778-2107-7

The 15 stories in Wright's debut story collection cover everything from futuristic flora and fauna to literary farce. What helps this divergent volume cohere is her abiding interest in the emotions that remain constant even as technology, epidemics, and death transform the world we share. Sci-fi buffs will appreciate Wright's humane explorations of the fine line between animal and machine (%E2%80%9CSheila," %E2%80%9CBarnstormers") and her evocations of life under alien or Big Brother%E2%80%93type regimes (%E2%80%9CWhat to Expect When You're Expecting an Alien Parasite," %E2%80%9CYuri, in a Blue Dress," %E2%80%9CThe Thing About Great White Sharks"). Those who prefer realism will find pieces%E2%80%94such as the postwar drama %E2%80%9CPoland, 1952" and the wonderfully tongue-in-cheek romance of impersonators of American Romantic writers in %E2%80%9CMelville Loves Hawthorne"%E2%80%94that do not even verge on the paranormal. But the stories that shine the brightest contain subtle glints of the absurd: %E2%80%9COrchids," about a woman whose lover's hot-house plants warn her of his demise; %E2%80%9CThe Space We Share," in which a dearly departed high school boy seems to be leaving messages for his friends in his locker; and %E2%80%9CTiger Bright," whose protagonists inherit Aunt Gertrude's exotic pet only to watch her ghost haunt its enclosure. These wild, fun, challenging stories showcase a promising writer stretching her talents in every imaginable direction. (Feb.)