Introduction: Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: Ben Baldwin
These stories, wise, witty, and offbeat takes on the stranger "what-ifs" of human nature, come from the pen of Uncle River, hermit and occasional prophet of the SF world. Conceived in the sparsely populated American Mountain Southwest, where loners, rugged individualists, and small, eccentric communities live close to Nature and formulate alternative, sometimes surreal codes of existence, River's tales are narratives of laconic power, visionary yet saturated with the colors and sounds of real places, real people, the dreamers of New Mexico...
Many of these pieces come from a time when River lived in utter solitude, not writing until his last sighting of another human being lay days in the past. There were no noisy distractions: no phone, no TV or radio, no Internet connection, not even a music machine. The quieter world of our ancestors: yet now, to almost all of us, quite alien. A world of woods, which talk quietly to themselves, in a way neither mystical nor sentimental; of small animals, which announce the presence of larger creatures: deer, bears, humans... And yet this is the world also of space ships, computers, urban billions--what common realm, what wide universe, can such different realities share?
Congruities and incongruities, daily experience and its dimension of dream: these tales have appeared in such publications as Analog, Asimov's, Amazing Stories, and The Year's Best Fantasy.
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