Enemy of the Good (Postscripts 19)

Review by Paul Campbell

Enemy of the GoodThe title story of this anthology sees our intrepid anti-hero, thief Luff Imbry, crashlanding (after an interminable 6 pages) in a desert where a dweller strong arms him into retrieving his friend from a warren of underground tunnels, where a device which shows the viewer a perfect simulacrum of what they ought to be, but can never hope to become, thus driving mad all who come across it. But will it undo Imbry? An enjoyable romp, if a tad overlong and not a little heavy-handed: it fails to live up to the subtle hues of Edward Miller’s evocative cover painting.

Despite headline status, Matthew Hughes’s tale is not the best on offer, although it does set the tone as the book contains a number of very assured adventures, from Daniel Abraham to Chris Beckett to M. K. Hobson. Good, but the most memorable stories also prove to be among the shortest, such as Andrew Hook’s delightful fable-esque ‘Bigger than the Beetles’ and David N. Drake’s ‘A Life Cliched’.

Further solid work is provided by Mark Youmans and Scott Edelman and many others. 12 authors all, who ably maintain Postscipts’ reputation of energetic, eclectic content.

Enemy of the Good (Postscripts 19), eds. Nick Gevers and Peter Crowther, PS Publishing. 2009. £15 hb. £30 signed hb.