Two from Lela E. Buis
a review by Jonah Bergan
Recently I had the opportunity to read two anthologies from Science Fiction author, Lela E. Buis. I don’t usually enjoy anthologies. I typically prefer a deeper exploration of character and the more in-depth experience of story that is typical of novel-length work. But having read— then voraciously read, both anthologies I am left asking myself: “Lela, where have you been all my life!” I found the writing to be some of the most crisp, soulful and brilliant writing I’ve had the pleasure to encounter in quite some time.
Souls, from the Storm and Shadows anthology was, I think, my favorite. It’s hard to choose just one when each of them offers so very much. Ascension, was excellent and surprising. It offers some rough sex and an all male society and a surprise ending that left me smiling and inspired, but Souls was brisk—fully alive. Buis’s narrative was brief, illuminating, but it was her dialog that brought the story and carried the story. Souls is the story of a modern day PI, a mystical and mythical haunt and a day at sea with a lovely burdened young man. Don’t ask me for any more. Just go buy the book. I want more of the story… you will too. Together we’ll want Buis to expand it into a novel so we can visit with her characters and ride with them through their lives. It’s really that good.
As with any anthology, each of the stories serve as brief glimpses into the moments, some key and some of the more prosaic moments in the lives of Buis’s characters. In Enigma Variations, a part of the Competitive Fauna anthology, we meet a government employee dispatched to some far flung world to investigate formal complaints by the employees. She resists offers—a cigar from one interviewee, an expensive beverage from another. She is sensitive to the fact that such offers might be construed as corruption—as a bribe offered and intended to influence her findings. Eventually she is duped—her own very natural and human desire blinding her to the nature of the deceit and the consequences of her lapse are hers to suffer. It is a story steeped in regret. It is a story that remembers that at the core of every great work of science fiction, it is the struggle to be fully human that captivates us.
If you’re looking for a good Science fiction read, you can find that most anywhere. If you’re looking for a great science fiction read, look no further than the works of Lela Buis. The stories from Storm and Shadow, and Competitive Fauna, will inspire and delight you—they are among the great works of science fiction, and they are waiting for you now.
Want More Sci-Fi Sunday? Use the menu above!
Share the Love! Tweet, Share, Post and Re-post and add the hashtag #scifisunday