Denver Post Review

Alumni burnish glory of Golden Gryphon

Edited by Gary Turner and Marty Halpern
Golden Gryphon Press, 330 pages, $27.95

In the 1990s, Jim Turner (who had previously worked at the prestigious Arkham House publishing, which jump-started the careers of Ray Bradbury and Robert Bloch), started his own small press. He called it Golden Gryphon Press. And, like Arkham, Golden Gryphon proceeded to publish some of the most prominent writers in the field of science fiction, fantasy and horror.

Sadly, Turner passed away. But his name lives on in the form of one of science-fiction and fantasy's highest quality small presses. In celebration of the 25th book published by Golden Gryphon, every writer published with them was invited to contribute an original story for a special anthology.

The result is a collection of some of the strongest, most varied fiction to be published under genre auspices this year.

One of the strongest offerings is [Warren] Rochelle's "The Golden Boy," set in a world in which magical creatures are commonplace, and hatred and prejudice of them are rampant (only the dullest reader will fail to miss the point when "faeries" are mistreated).

Lucius Shepard, whose most famous works are of the SF & fantasy ilk, offers up a mainstream story, "After Ildiko," about an expatriate American who competes for the love of a beautiful woman with the captain of a barge as it sails through a Central American jungle. Oddly enough, Michael Bishop weighs in with a "homage" to the fiction of Shepard, telling the tale of a Vietnam War that becomes a portal to hell for nave American soldiers in "The Door Gunner."

The always irrepressible Joe R. Lansdale gets goofy and nasty when a man is transformed into a Dalmatian, enjoying all the pleasures of a canine's life and the sometimes inevitable outcome in "The Fire Dog."

Time, and how it can affect a person's life, is the subject of "Takes You Back," by George Zebrowski, who writes of a husband who "slips" back and forth (and sideways) in time, unable to return to his comfortable, emotional starting point.

The depth and breadth of the offerings are more proof that much of the best short fiction being offered these days comes from the pens of genre writers.

— Dorman T. Shindler, Special to The Denver Post, Sunday, May 25, 2003


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