Lindsey Fitzharris gives us an unflinching look at the difficult, unsettling world of early medicine through the lens of Joseph Lister’s career. Here, a fierce but kindly man can be seen as a genius with a heart, not a cold figure to be dissected.
Within the pages of this collection, therefore, readers may consider “science fiction” to be loosely defined as tales of the fantastic that exclude the supernatural — no ghosts, no deities, no magic. What may sound like an arbitrary distinction actually demonstrates separate ways for regarding the cosmos.
Pulley creates details with such ease that the reader quickly accepts the ethereal beauty of the deep Andean forest. And she does so while keeping one foot in the reality of colonialism, missionaries, Victorian exploration and commerce. The reader will relish slowly absorbing the magic of The Bedlam Stacks.
Upon Beatrice’s arrival at the tea shop, she is quickly welcomed by the older women and their pet raven, Perdu. And she is equally quick to realize this will be no ordinary clerking position. Though she is not averse to magic, she has never really given it too much thought before.
The unlikely team of Adolphus “Nine Nails” McGray and Ian Frey are on the case again. It’s not perfect, but it’s a strong second outing for the new novelist.