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Ian Watson is one of the finest writers of SF and fantasy stories, and Butterflies of Memory is his 10th collection, a selection of stories that are by turns serious and playful, and always wildly imaginative…
In the title story, what if mobile phones were to become truly mobile, flying about like butterflies? ‘An Appeal to Adolf’ tells of gay sailors on a Nazi battleship many kilometres long during a Second World War unfamiliar to us; ‘Lover of Statues’ of an enigmatic alien visiting the only statue of Satan in the world, in Madrid – while in the bubbling stew of faiths which is Jerusalem a doorway opens to reveal capricious godlike beings. And just suppose that Jules Verne undertook an actual journey to the centre of the Earth. Closer to home, in a Midlands town, a man who seems to have suddenly popped into existence tries to discover who and what he is. ‘Hijack Holiday’, written a year before 9/11, presciently if bizarrely anticipates events akin to those on that fateful day.
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