Sailing to Byzantium: Six Novellas
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watch the children. They laugh, they shriek, they run in circles and fall down and rise again, still laughing. Don’t they feel the sting of the snow? But the snow, I remind myself, is not there. It is illusionary snow, metaphorical snow, a trick of my troubled soul, a snowfall of the spirit. For the children there is no snow. I choose a little girl, taller and more serious than the others, standing somewhat to one side, and pretend that she is my own child. A strange idea, myself as a father, but
look, or perhaps a pitying one, or both. Then she turns away from me and throws the switch. Entrada is torrid and moist, a humid sweltering hothouse of a place so much the antithesis of Zima that my body rebels immediately against the shift from one world to the other. Coming forth into it, I feel the heat rolling toward me like an implacable wall of water. It sweeps up and over me and smashes me to my knees. I am sick and numb with displacement and dislocation. It seems impossible for me to
Phillips said. He flew to Alexandria. He felt lost and weary. All this is hopeless folly, he told himself. I am nothing but a puppet jerking about on its strings. But somewhere above the shining breast of the Arabian Sea the deeper implications of something that Belilala had said to him started to sink in, and he felt his bitterness, his rage, his despair, all suddenly beginning to leave him. You exist. How can you doubt that you exist? Would Gioia love what is not real? Of course. Of course.
issues honoring its favorite contributors—writers like Theodore Sturgeon, Ray Bradbury, Fritz Leiber, Poul Anderson, James Blish. Each special issue featured a portrait of the writer on the cover, a major new story by him, several critical essays, and a bibliography. All of the writers chosen had been favorites of mine since my days as an avid adolescent reader; and now, suddenly, in my mid-thirties, and at what was plainly the peak of my career, I found myself chosen to join their company. It
guidance than propulsion, for it appeared to move by guzzling in great quantities of water and expelling them through an anal siphon. Its mouth was vast, with a row of dim little green eyes ringing the scarlet lips. When the creature yawned, it revealed itself to be toothless, but capable of swallowing the lobster easily at a gulp. Looking upward into that yawning mouth, McCulloch had a sudden image of himself elsewhere, spread-eagled under an inverted pyramid of shining machinery as the