|Winifred Halsey (Editor): Heaven and Hell|
Press (Trade Paperback), ISBN 0-9671979-8-8
Jody Lynn Nye's "The Fiber of Being" provides an appealing explanation of the mysterious ways angels work their Lord's miracles to perform. Susan Sizemore's "Ragnarok Can Wait" demonstrates why some people call her the world's greatest Viking fan while offering an alternative vision of heaven some people -- namely a Valkyrie or two -- might consider hell in Valhalla. And what celebration of celestial and netherworld creatures would be complete without a "Demon Puss" like Terri Beckett's D.C.?
Clever mortals (both innocent and anything-but) prove to be the stellar attractions in H. David Blalock's devilishly delightful "The Morality Clause" and Michael McShay's winning "The Prize of a Lifetime." Sweet describes Sharon L. Nelson's "A Plum Assignment," while those with a taste for the tart will appreciate Tom Dullemond's "The Eternal Reward."
No anthology hits the mark with every story, but that's to be expected and celebrated. Heaven and Hell, like the best of its breed, offers a bite for every taste. So you don't like stories that end just when it looks like the real fun's about to begin, or you tire a bit too quickly of heavenly bureaucracies. No problem. Like Washington, D.C., weather, wait five minutes -- er, pages, and everything changes.
And failing that, you could always take a "Vacation" with a nice demon. Not only does Jennifer Dunne make a damn fine literary travel agent, you'll never look at the cardinal virtues quite the same way again.
Jean Marie Ward
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