Very good, very consistent anthology. I enjoyed all of the stories here. Highly recommended.
The origin story of the Wraeththu.
If you haven’t read any of the novels, this may raise more questions than it answers, but I found it very enjoyable.
The Law of Being
A rock star messiah is investigated by an arm of the government devoted to keeping paranormal talents under control – or eliminated. A definite step better than most stories in the ‘paranormal investigation’ genre.
The Green Calling
‘Researcher in a jungle goes native’ story – with some extra supernatural elements, and a not-totally-necessary subplot about eugenic research. Not totally original, but eerie and effective.
Angel of the Hate Wind
A strange and morally ambiguous tale of lust and jealousy, set in a bizarre (future?) (post-apocalyptic?) setting full of biologically enhanced individuals. The narrator, a traveling performer, has long harbored a crush on her partner – but he develops an ill-fated obsession with a ‘variant’ woman.
The Feet They Dance
A museum curator is strangely affected by the mummy that’s the centerpiece of his new Babylonian exhibit. A strange episode in the midst of a speech at the opening gala is only the beginning, as an ancient curse (and an ancient love) is revisited on the reincarnations of the long-dead.
Return to Gehenna
An office worker, depressed by her stultifying existence, finds a way to escape into a strange alternate reality of passion and emotion… provided as strange elixirs. This one made me really glad that I didn’t accidentally become one of these ‘oops, I forgot about the future’ individuals… I easily could’ve been.
A Change of Season
Amoral – or possibly evil – a trickster character arrives in a small town with the intent of making trouble. He meets a set of orphaned teenage twins, and has dark and seductive intents toward them – but with these two, he may have gotten more than he bargained for.
How Enlightenment Came to the Tower
Locked within a tower, a sorcerer is imprisoned by his own devices. But an angel/oracle opens his eye to Truth. An allegory presented as a legend…
By The River of If Only…
Another story of the Wraeththu. Set much later, at a time when established tribes of hara have staked out their territory and created their own traditions and customs, it deals poignantly with the conflict between human emotions and the posthuman consciousness.
Dying of a broken heart, a woman bemoans that her lover has left her for another woman. Her closest companion is also filled with anger at the situation, and sets out to seek a boon of revenge – but her motivation is not as pure as she’d like you to think.
Heir to a Tendency
A companion piece to the ‘Grigori’ novel, ‘Stalking Tender Prey.’
A young woman knows that she is a member of a group of tribes of supernatural creatures, kept secret from humanity and the world at large. But it takes an unexpected visitor to open her eyes to the unexpected secrets that her own all-too-familiar house hides from her…
Spinning for Gold
The Nothing Child
Living With The Angel
These three stories form a series, following the same characters. Weaving in retold elements from Rumplestiltskin, Beauty & The Beast, and several other less-well-known fairy tales, the result is romantic and original. As one would expect from Constantine, androgyny, jealousy and ambiguity are major themes.
The Oracle Lips.
Just read this in another of Constantine’s collections, ‘Mythophidia.’ Not sure why it’s in both. A plain young woman with low self-esteem has a chance encounter with a confident, beautiful woman in a public restroom. Through a strange impulse and her psychic abilities, this seemingly-random moment will change how she sees herself. Nicely done.