Leviathan Wept and Other Stories
by Daniel Abraham
Review by Drew Bittner
Subterranean Press Deluxe Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781596062658
Date: 03 May 2010 / Show Official Info /
Leviathan Wept is an odyssey through wonders and nightmares, steered by master wordsmith Daniel Abraham. It's a trippy ride, with lots of surprises amid a powerhouse display of imagination and craft.
In the nine stories in this volume, Abraham goes from the poignant to the hilarious to the darkly tragic without missing a beat.
In "The Curandero and the Swede", a young Southener hears a tale from his uncle about healing, love and the collision of cultures, which have an odd bearing on his own situation. It's a remarkable testament to the power of story to shape our lives and our worlds.
"Flat Diane" involves an innocent joke--sending a cutout of a little girl off to friends and relatives to take pictures with it for a photo album--that goes wrong. It seems the cutout and the girl share a bond, and what happens to one happens to the other. This tale of innocence lost, and the powerlessness of parents to stop it, resonates strongly with this new parent in particular. It was deservedly nominated for the Nebula and won an International Horror Guild award.
In "The Cambist and Lord Iron" (nominated for the Hugo and World Fantasy awards), a meek and inoffensive money-exchanger is given a challenge by a cruel and capricious nobleman: find a value for the world's most obscure currency. When he solves this puzzle through ingenious reasoning, the stakes only get higher...
"Leviathan Wept" involves a counter-terrorism team stymied by its failures to prevent a rash of suicide bombings. These attacks should not be succeeding, but they are. In studying the problem, it appears that there are higher orders of intelligence at work--and in conflict. What does this mean for ordinary men and women, or the way we interact with the world?
This gives some idea of the scope of Abraham's imagination. Readers will have an incredible time discovering these stories and more in this book. Here's hoping for another collection soon.