Science Fiction Chronicle

Swift Thoughts by George Zebrowski, Golden Gryphon, 4/02, $24.95, ISBN 1-930846-08-8

Over the course of more than two decades, George Zebrowski has produced a comparatively small but uniformly high quality short fiction, and it was somewhat surprising to realize there hadn't been a collection of his stories until now. Although they are all science fiction, some of them really push the borders of the genre, as in the case of a very effective satire in which spoken words take on physical form and must be cleaned up at the end of each day. There's another tale in which original ideas take on solid form as well. In the alternate world of "The Eichmann Variations," a world dominant Israel captures the Nazi war criminal and duplicates him so that he can be executed six million times in an exploration of the nature of guilt. In another story, aliens come to Earth in the guise of the Three Stooges, and in another, we see a subtle alternate history in which a British agent with his own personal agenda assassinates Lenin. Other stories use more familiar themes—escaping death by transfer to a virtual reality world, life in a post apocalyptic America—but even when using traditional themes, Zebrowski is always able to find something new to say. If your're not already familiar with his work, pick up Swift Thoughts to find out what you've been missing.

—Don D'Ammassa, Science Fiction Chronicle, March 2002


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