Friday, April 27, 2012

The Gift of Fire / On the Head of a Pin: Two Short Novels from Crosstown to Oblivion-Walter Mosley

The Gift of Fire / On the Head of a Pin: Two Short Novels from Crosstown to Oblivion

Walter Mosley

Tor, May 8 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780765330086

“The Gift of Fire.” Prometheus escapes from Zeus’ divine punishment for his betrayal with The Gift of Fire to the mortals. Though Prometheus knows he should plead with Pluto or Neptune for asylum, he refuses to cower. Instead he hides as a human in Los Angeles with plans to give the second gift. Cops greet him by beating him. Soon afterward he calls himself Foreman Prospect and meets wino Nosome Blane who agrees to take the big man around the city. After facing a judge, Foreman continues his trek around South Central.

“On the Head of a Pin.” At Jennings-Tremont Enterprises, Joshua Winterland and Ana Fried are developing an animatronics editing technique to create movies that contain the same quality as live filming. Their method will enable the perfect blending of dead superstars with the top talent of today. However, neither is prepared for the final cut on their footage that denotes a new reality.

Somewhat different in tone, these are two superb urban fantasy novellas share in common a focus on mankind’s relatively short and low stature in the universe. This leads to a degree of separation between an African-American wino and a billionaire oil man being insignificant in the expanding realm of the big bang. Intelligent, readers will appreciate this fine two-story collection as Walter Mosley makes it look Easy switching from mystery to fantasy.

Harriet Klausner

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