Booklist Review



A much-honored and versatile writer here collects some of her shorter fiction. The title story, one of the more recently written, is an sf treatment of the conflict, for any creator, between artistic integrity and the rewards and pressures of the market. "Gather Blue Roses," one of the earlier pieces, deals with the Holocaust. "Venus Flowers at Night" and "Utmost Bones" reflect probably her best-known work, the Venus trilogy (Venus of Dreams [1986], Venus of Shadows [1988], Child of Venus [2001]). Her historical novel of Genghis Khan, Ruler of the Sky (1993), which she characterizes in the afterword to this book as having something in common with the tale of alien invasion, led to the historical stories "Erdeni's Tiger" and "Spirit Brother," and "Climb the Wind" shows her using similar elements in an sf milieu. Other stories manifest not only Sargent's command of language and characterization but also influences as varied as The Twilight Zone; Albany, New York (her hometown); and 9/11.

— Roland Green

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