Kansas City Star Review



Storyteller's engaging style builds a Legacy

Dale Bailey's engaging style drives The Resurrection Man's Legacy

Here's one for the books: An anthology for bibliophiles and sci-fi fans. That's what you have with Dale Bailey's The Resurrection Man's Legacy (332 pages; Golden Gryphon Press; $24.95).

Bailey's words alone have the power to draw you in, often before you know what the subject is. Take the book's first story, for instance:

" 'I did not know the phrase "resurrection man" eighteen years ago. I was a boy then; such men were yet uncommon.' " Though we quickly learn of the narrator's love of baseball, we also are taken to a nostalgic, alternate past.

And the resurrection man's legacy? A simulated person, or sim, brought into narrator Jake's young life to help him get over the death of his estranged father.

"I'll call you Ford. . . . That's a machine's name." A machine's name, yes, but Bailey's unfolding tale of a bond between a boy and his sim speaks of human memories and goodbyes, and all within 33 pages.

With each subsequent story, Bailey's prose takes the shape of the world it envelops.

"Death and Suffrage" tells of a story CNN is following, one that, for once, actually deserves its own theme and logo from the producers at the 24-hour news channel: The dead are voting in Chicago. And, as it turns out, the dead are voting everywhere in the United States for a presidential election.

There's a comment on the back flap of this book's dust jacket, something to the effect of, if Stephen King is retiring, then he could lend his pen to Bailey. Perhaps. Bailey and King do share the literary quality of engaging the reader by using a distinctive voice for different stories. In this case, Bailey's voice is a siren call you have to continue following through "The Anencephalic Fields" to "In Green's Dominion."

As for the appeal to bibliophiles, consider the manufacturing note: Three thousand copies of this book have been printed by the Maple-Vail Book Manufacturing Group for Golden Gryphon Press.

You'll have to get your own; I'm hanging on to my copy.

— Robert Folsom, The Kansas City Star, Sunday, December 21, 2003



 

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