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Lost Voices 23: San Diego Lightfoot Sue and Other Stories by Tom Reamy

San Diego Lightfoot Sue and Other Stories

By Tom Reamy 

10 May, 2000

Lost Voices


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San Diego Lightfoot Sue and Other Stories

Tom Reamy

Ace Books [1983]

304 pages

Synopsis: A collection of short stories.

Twilla” details the struggle between an elderly school teacher and an evil student, apparently a young girl named Twilla.

Under the Hollywood Sign” tells of a policeman in LA who notices similar, extremely attractive young men hanging around fatal accident sites and the consequences of his acting on his desire for them.

Beyond the Cleft” is the tale of the destruction of a small community as their children become cannibals and then, something else. Something worse.

San Diego Lightfoot Sue” is about the romance between a young boy in LA and a middle-aged woman and the results of her attempt to use magic to reverse her aging.

Dinosaurs” is one of the few SF stories in this collection: In it the last remnants of humanity struggle for survival while observed by more appropriately adapted beings lurking below the surface of gravel seas.

The Sweetwater Factor” pits Mother Nature against the Sweetwaters, a family of weirdness magnets.

The Mistress of Windhaven” is about a successful author of gothic romances, her unhappy marriage to a fellow unable to cope with her success and her solution.

The Detweiler Boy” is about a private detective’s investigation into the death of an informant, which leads him to discover the true nature of the Detweiler boy.

Insect in Amber” is the story of a family visiting the house of a psychically gifted professor who years before summoned up an extra-dimensional being and who now wants to send it back where it came from.

Waiting for Billy Starr” is the tale of an abandoned woman and her long wait for her boyfriend to return.

2076: Blue Eyes” is a brief retelling of an unpleasant event in the life of a young man living after aliens have destroyed most of human civilization.

When I was looking around for authors to review in this series, Tom Reamy’s was the name the came up most often. He had a very short career, dying in his early forties in the late 1970s. His stories are never less than competent. Some of them, most of them, are very good. This collection is mostly dark fantasy or horror, with two sf stories, Dinosaurs” and 2076: Blue Eyes”.

I’ve been putting this review off because I find Reamy very tiring to read for some reason. I also mostly skipped the Ellison introduction. I’m sure it was touching: Ellison could write effectively in his overwrought way about having to use a piece of Kleenex or about a lump of green putty he found in his armpit. I do remember that Ellison was working on a screenplay based on Reamy’s work in the 1970s, of which I can’t recall anything coming and fans of Reamy will be as overjoyed as I was to find out that Ellison has the right to one of the few existing unpublished Reamy stories, to be published, according to a footnote, in The Final Dangerous Visions.