Master of the Road to Nowhere / In the Time of War. Book Review

MASTER OF THE ROAD TO NOWHERE / IN THE TIME OF WAR by Carol Emshwiller. PS Publishing £19.99

Reviewed by Peter Coleborn

Pete Crowther said he loves the old Ace Doubles: one short novel starts at one end; flip the book over and the second novel begins. This book by Carol Emshwiller is a nod to that format: two collections, Master of the Road to Nowhere starts from one end, In the Time of War from the other. I’m not sure this format is necessary because all the stories have a similar feel to them, that of loss, of trying to come to terms with the outside world, of being on the road to nowhere, in time of war or not.

I’ve not knowingly read anything by Carol Emshwiller before – but I’m damned glad I have now. These are beautifully written stories about real people. If they don’t move the reader to (almost) tears, then he or she must be a zombie. I especially like – love – the title story from Master, and “Logicist” from War. But I don’t believe there is a bad story in this/these collection(s).

The name Ed Emshwiller maybe well known to you as an artist extraordinaire – and his paintings grace both covers of his wife’s book. Also included are two introductions by Ursula K Le Guin and Phyllis Eisenstein.

Carol Emshwiller shows you how to write fantasy/SF stories – engaging characters, intriguing plots, true emotions.