Life is strange. This morning I spent thirty minutes writing and researching a brief bio of Richard ‘Rick’ Bowes for a project I’m working on. Went about listing his books, his awards, and what I know about the stuff he’s working on, including mention of a new collection. And what do you know? Jeffrey Ford posts about the very book I’d been writing up, Streetcar Dreams and Other Midnight Fancies. The book can be ordered from the good folk at PS Publishing, who describe it like this:
Five of the six stories in this collection are Bowes’ ‘orphan tales’, the ones that didn’t end up as chapters in his novels Minions Of The Moon (1999) or From The Files Of The Time Rangers (2005).
The title novella, the World Fantasy Award winning Streetcar Dreams, is a ‘Kevin Grierson’ story and encapsulates the life and redemption of the gay, addicted, doppelganger-haunted protagonist. It shows up in Minions, but piecemeal as linking material, binding the other nine stories into a Lambda Award winning novel. In this volume we see Streetcar Dreams as it originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
Three other stories, ‘Someday I Shall Rise and Go’, ‘Transfigured Night’, and ‘A Huntsman Passing By’, each as Publisher’s Weekly said, “showcase (Bowes) signature interest in the strange intersection of fantasy and the drug-fueled 1960s underground.”
The two stories, ‘Circle Dance’ and ‘My Life in Speculative Fiction’, which bookend the collection share a common first person narrator and structure.
‘Circle Dance’ recently appeared for the first time in Postscripts #3. Infinity Plus said, “…uses a trick… the telling of another story — or stories — within the main story, commenting on and counterpointing the framing story. Bowes pulls this trick off to near-perfection, setting the story of two brothers — their ups, their downs, their near-death experiences, their relationships — against a parallel worlds tale being written by one of the brothers, the whole thing approaching the deep, deep hole left in a person’s life when a loved one departs from two quite different perspectives. Moving and quite, quite beautiful.”
Locus Magazine’s Faren Miller wrote about ‘My Life in Speculative Fiction’, “Adventure takes on the emotional force and complexity of life, while life engages heart and soul as compellingly as the best adventure. Bowes shows just what it means to be a writer – caught in the act, using all the resources of his art.”
All of which is good enough for me. I’ve enjoyed the work of Rick’s that I’ve read, and am very interested to see a new book. Should be quite cool. I note, for the record, that numbers are limited, so it’s probably worth ordering early.