Sunday, March 26, 2000

Bears Discover Fire

OK, I admit it; I bought this book in large part for the title, and the cover (sadly not available at Amazon), which shows bears with torches.
Wallace was the first to speak. "Looks like bears have discovered fire," he said.
Bears Discover Fire and Other Stories by Terry Bisson is a collection of short (often very) stories. Many, like the title story are based on a single conceit -- everything else is the same, except, well, bears discover fire. And instead of hibernating, they're camping out in the medians of interstates. Or in "England Underway," England starts moving around Ireland, swings past Bermuda and comes to rest off the East Coast of the U.S. The best comparison I can make is to Steven Wright jokes. "Press Ann" can't really be described here, but is now one of my all-time favorites.
Bisson admits he sometimes writes "odd mainstream works" that get passed of as fantasy and SF. While only a handful of his works "count" as true fantasy or SF, they are no less enjoyable. 5 stars.

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