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Dislocations: Nine Stories of Speculation and Imagination
ed. by Ian Whates

Newcon Press ISBN:978-0-9555791-0-3

Last year’s Time Pieces anthology, a project designed to recoup some money for the badly advertised but otherwise brilliant Newcon 3, seems to have been a bold idea that picked up some kudos along the way and rolled itself into a snowball. Even now, the idea is gathering momentum (other anthologies are being discussed, I hear), but can Dislocations live up to its predecessor?
Time Pieces did receive quite a few award nominations, and ended up with a BSFA award for Fangorn’s impressive cover. As for the content, just like with Time Pieces, there are no duds in Dislocations, though for my money there are a couple of stories that shine a little more brightly than the others.
Whilst it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Amanda Hemingway’s ‘The Convention’, described by the blurb as a ‘jeu d’esprit’, is, I think, quite funny, and Ken Macleod’s ‘Lighting Out’ is a triumph of eloquent absurdity, with characters that can ‘download’ their mothers from the wall. Pat Cadigan’s ‘Among Strangers’ evokes the fish-out-of-water theme in an entertaining way, though I thought Hal Duncan’s ‘The Drifter’s Tale’ ends just as you start getting into the story.
At first, Andrew Hook’s ‘The Glass Football’ may seem to be the true gasping fish here, being one of his trademark ‘slipstream’ tales, but it is nonetheless intriguing and alluring. Newcomer Andy West’s philosophical story, ‘Impasse’, luxuriates in poetic fluidity, but the shiniest tale in this respect has to be Chaz Brenchley’s ‘Terminal’. Put simply, it is beautiful.

Dislocations is a signed, limited edition anthology available from www.newconpress.com.

Review by Donna Scott

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