Eighteen stories with Jack Dann (The Memory Cathedral) as coauthor fill a collection that runs the gamut from humor to action-adventure. Headnotes by the coauthors (who include Gardner Dozois, Gregory Frost, Michael Swanwick and five others) and by Dann himself provide an engaging, informal, often laugh-out-loud look at the impetus for each story. Though all the tales contain an element of the fantastic, they range widely in subject and tone: a story of a salesman doing whatever it takes to sell useless computers in Farie ("Golden Apples of the Sun") sits next to disturbing metaphorical explorations of love and the eternal struggle between Heaven and Hell ("Ships"), a yarn about an American Indian pressed into space-station construction service ("High Steel") and a perhaps tragic, perhaps celebratory first Mars landing, with a bow to Barsoom ("The Gods of Mars"). Classic science fiction themes of estrangement, other worlds and time travel satisfyingly inform recurring themes of the Jewish experience, love relationships, sex and childhood. Agent, Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House. (Oct.)
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