Locus Magazine Review

Richard A. Lupoff's collection, Claremont Tales, takes its name from the area of Berkeley in San Francisco's Bay Area where Lupoff lives. As someone who has lived nearby, the name conjures dark, rainy nights, old stone buildings, and the smell of wet pine trees to me. That feeling pervades the 12 stories collected here.

Lupoff assays everything from tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, in "Documents in the Case of Elizabeth Akeley" and "Discovery of the Ghooric Zone," to the combination of old books and galactic warfare in the neat and very funny "Lux Was Dead Right." Most impressive, though, is "Black Mist," where Lupoff convincingly unwinds a murder mystery set amongst a group of Japanese employees working on the Martian moon of Phobos.

It's possible to wonder whether a writer as flexible as Lupoff—he has, after all, written everything from successful mysteries to dialogues with Philip K. Dick—might have gained a larger audience had he stuck to one thing rather than following his muse. But Claremont Tales makes a convincing case that we as readers would have lost out had he done so. Claremont Tales is a fine, entertaining book by one of the most under appreciated writers in the field, and it is very welcome.

—Jonathan Strahan, Locus, June 2001


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