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Synopsis

This collection of stories by Stirling Davenport has evolved over a period of 20 years.  The tales are organized loosely by genre, although such designations can be ambiguous.  Stories which appear at first to be fantasy are interwoven with reality.  A gravedigger sees the ghost of a dead child.  A man’s obsession with memory leads him into a past life as a voodoo priest.  An artist has a recurring experience with a homeless woman who may be his true muse.

Mainstream tales include a child’s scrap of memory, a doomed love affair, a possible suicide, and a transformative journey to Tibet.  Even the author’s science fiction stories explore the classic themes of courage, redemption, love and endurance.  Many of Stirling’s tales reflect her Buddhist philosophies.  As she says, “It’s tempting to remake the world by writing fiction, but it’s more difficult to simply translate it as it is, without any judging or forcing resolution.  So I’ve tried to let the characters find their own way, however that happens.  It’s how we all live, isn’t it? … Following the inner voice and seeking a life of integrity and dignity without losing our humor, flexibility or love.”

A few of these stories have been published elsewhere.  “Abba’s Mark” was published in 1998 by Design-Image Group in a vampire anthology called The Darkest Thirst.  “Engineering Beauty” won a prize in eternity.com’s Price of Technology contest in 1999.  “Dancing with the Shadow” appeared on-line at Dark Planet (http://www.sfsite.com/darkplanet) in 2000.  “The Intercessor” was presented in its original form in Don’t Forget To Write: A Guide to Building and Maintaining a Lasting Writers Group, published by Xlibris in 2000, a joint venture by the 6’ Ferrets Writers’ Group, edited by D.M. Rosner.

Background notes at the end of the book give a fascinating glimpse into the creative process of a writer, and expose the inspiration for many of the stories.

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