CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 3 Review from Locus

Rich Horton’s review in the new LOCUS:

Clockwork Phoenix is a series of anthologies from Norilana Books, edited by Mike Allen, that bears the subtitle “New Tales of Beauty and Strangeness”. This seems a quite appropriate subtitle – the stories really do seem attempts at evoking both beauty and the strange. This makes them consistently interesting, though at times frustrating, as the “tale” part seems occasionally scanted. But the third volume again offers more good stuff than weak. There is a mixture of wild Science Fiction (as with John C. Wright’s “Murder in Metachronopolis”, a convoluted time travel mystery) with what seems best called Slipstream (say, Tanith Lee’s curious “Fold”, about a man who sends people paper airplane love letters) with out and out Fantasy. One of the latter is my favorite here: C. S. E. Cooney’s “Braiding the Ghosts”, in which a girl goes to her grandmother after her mother’s death, and learns from the older woman the secret of “braiding” ghosts – which is to say enslaving them. So ghosts are the servants of the older woman. But the girl is not so happy with this … especially when she falls for the
ghost she is forced to braid. And the ghosts – are they happy? Read
the story and find out … lovely stuff.

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