Frankensteins and Foreign Devils (1998)

A nice collection that is a great showcase for the wide spectrum of WJW’s fiction, we have alternate fiction, science fiction, fantasy and some other stuff. And even if he works in only one genre, he easily alternates between different modes. When I read other writers I often only like it when they write in a special mode, for example either fantasy or science fiction, few can seamlessly switch from one into the other without losing something, but WJW can. He’s also one of those writers who can establish in only a short time excellent characters for whom you care and you don’t want the stories to end.

Another good reason for this collection is Solip: System, a novella that functions as a bridge between Hardwired and Voice of the Whirlwind. Erogenoscape has the same background, a creepy tale of obsession combined with some good sfnal ideas. The collection has so many good stories that it’s hard to say which impressed me the most, but that’s probably Prayers on the Wind, a story about a so-called enlightened future human society, and how they deal with an alien invasion. If there’s one mode of fiction of WJW I like less than the others, that might be some of his alternate fiction pieces. He takes so much care with the historical details that he forgets to write enticing stories.