cover image The Dogs of Truth

The Dogs of Truth

Kit Reed, . . Tor, $14.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-1414-7

Reed (Thinner Than Thou ) transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary in this impressive story collection. A nonagenarian Salman Rushdie finally meets his fatwah in "Grand Opening." A determined fan and a little technology control megahit television in "Focus Group." Teenagers in super-secure "High Rise High" rebel and run amok without bothering parents. Toddlers ("Playmate") and infants ("The Shop of Little Horrors") are threats to sanity, while old age ("Old Soldier") is insanity itself. Life ("Incursions") crumbles before we notice, and even if we mastermind our escapes, as in "Into the Jungle" and "No Two Alike," things never go anything at all as expected. Even "The Zombie Prince" isn't what one anticipates. As "Captive Kong" reminds us: "Because things like disease and Armageddon happen to other people, never to us because we are special, what really happens always comes as a surprise." No matter how absurd, these horror stories still sting with truth and ring with humor, often ending with an odd happiness. Agent, Andrew Blauner at Blauner Books Literary Agency. (Sept.)