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Triangulation: Dark Glass edited by Pete Butler

01/11/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Triangulation: Dark Glass in the USA - or Buy Triangulation: Dark Glass in the UK

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pub: Parsec INK. 126 page enlarged paperback. Price: $12.00 (US), Download PDF: $ 1.99 (US). ISBN: 978-0-578-03103-3.

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'Triangulation' can mean a lot of things, mostly in threes. This edition is the third and last of editor Pete Butler's tenure before giving way for some new blood. The sub-title 'Dark Glass' is the element requirement for the selected sixteen short stories this time. For a small book, 'Triangulation' packs a lot in, all using the theme of dark glass in some way.

'Saint Darwin's Spirituals' by D.K. Thompson has an interesting use for a peculiar tinted glasses that allows you to watch spirits wandering around the world or Whitechapel in London this time. I should point out that this isn't a Jack the Ripper scenario although Lucy is hunting her husband's killer and gets involved with spirits already on a similar case. The ending is a little squeezed but it's an interesting scenario.

Kenneth B. Chiachia's 'Imaginal Friend' is on a colony world that belonged to an extinct alien species that also used it as a colony world. Young Emile playing around with his virtual reality game pal, Dominic, discovers things aren't quite what they appear to be.

The connotation of 'Dark Glass' had several writers looking more towards fantasy, gods and reincarnation. Although well-written these didn't hold up as well as Arron Polson's very short story, 'Dancing Lessons', where a small girl briefly aids a resurrected hobo who was temporarily augmented as his body started to fail or Kathryn Board's 'Broken Things' where a woman has to replace a bottle for her late mother's genie.

'Souls On Display' by Kurt Kirchmeierr is still quasi-fantasy although I'm bringing it to attention in that not all fantasy as to be about goblins and elves. The community where a youth lives have their souls kept in glass vessels that break from time to time, although no one puts claim to it happening or that they survive. There is a glass maker who makes replicas and the youth becomes his apprentice. This story uses mainstream trappings but makes it pretty effective even if he doesn't really answer the question as to whether there really are souls or not.

I should remind everyone reading this book that you ought to have a break between each story to let it sink in before moving onto the next one. If anything, the stories are a little more scattershot away from Science Fiction this time, dabbling a bit more with fantasy. Those who like both should enjoy the balance. Those who might be swayed to either genre from this anthology should find it encouraging.

GF Willmetts

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