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Conversation Pieces


Vol. 19 — Aliens of the Heart: Short Fiction

by Carolyn Ives Gilman

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Aliens of the Heart collects four stories of the heartland by Carolyn Ives Gilman. In these stories, Betty Lindstrom imagines leaving her husband in the town of Lost Road and turning east instead of west out of town and never coming back, but when she does drive west with her husband, alone with the prairie and the wind, she can't get home; Susan Abernathy undertakes to humanize Captain Groton, the alien charged with removing the residents of Okanoggan Falls, WI, with consequences she could not have imagined; Galena Pittman seeks to recover her lover, Thea, from the mountains of Montana, where she devotes herself to literally painting the landscape under the direction of the mysterious Dirigo; and the Conservator, charged with preserving the many layers of the map of the great river "on whose surface the past was written in cipher," discovers that the relationship between map and landscape is more complicated than she had thought. "The Conservator" is original to the volume. "Frost Painting" and "Okanoggan Falls" appeared in Gardner Dozois's Year's Best Science Fiction anthology series.

Reviews

"[These stories] are distinguished as feminist primarily in their assumption that the stories of these (mostly small-town) women are worthy enough to appeal to readers regardless of their own gender (or geography). It's a simple assumption on the surface, yet revolutionary in its own way, and a powerful piece in this series' conversation." (read the whole review)
    — Daniel Ausema, The Fix, December 19, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-933500-17-1 (13 digit)
Publication Date: 2007
paperback 124 pages