ifs Fantasy Science Fiction
by Al Gengler
The hallmark of all speculative fiction is “what if?”
That short two word interrogatory has certainly produced many interesting results in the annals of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
With the release of volume one, ifs IMAGINE FANTASY SCIENCE FICTION delivers a full complement of nineteen ifs from author Mark Brandon Allen. Divided into eleven short stories, a novelette, two flash fiction nouvelles and five eclectic works of poetry the collection enjoys a sense of fun along with a bit of serious commentary. From the very first entry to the last, these ifs explore the many facets of the two speculative genres including historic, contemporary, apocalyptic, shapeshifer, gothic, slipstream, anthropomorphic, and time travel.
Consider these ifs. At the very start of the volume, in Vaticinium Ex Eventu, a newly elected Presidents inauguration could produce interesting fiction by itself but what if there is an alternative future to consider? Then again, in the anchor novelette Espacio:Space, what if there were thieves whose only task is to steal winning lottery tickets from lotto players, what could that possibly have to do with a petite red headed newspaper columnist who longs for more breathing room? Moving on to the paperbacks final entry, The Now and Hereafter, what if a world populated by angels is just something begot by the recitation of an ancient Babylonian spell?
In summation, within the context of Fantasy and Science Fiction pulps, ifs IMAGINE FANTASY SCIENCE FICTION has a fair bit to recommend it to the speculative fiction reader. All told the nineteen ifs within the books lineup make up a meaty and satisfying read.
- Al Gengler, May 2012
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