The Baylah Run and Other Quantum Leaps of Imagination

by Tom D. Wright
Release date: January 2015
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction, fantasy, short stories

What are quantum leaps of imagination?

- a preacher with a zombie congregation, which includes his dead wife.

- a xenoarchaeologist who uncovers the alien, ghostly echoes of a long buried catastrophe.

- a lawyer sent to represent his imprisoned client, in a country with a cooperative society that has no laws.

These are just some of the stories in this collection of SF&F stories ranging from flash and short fiction, up to novelletes and the title piece novella. Most of these stories are science-fiction and a few are fantasy, but they all explore worlds far and near, from the present to the far distant future.

And none of those worlds will be quite what you expect.

The following is from the Foreword, by Cat Rambo:

"One of the great good joys of teaching writing is the acquisition of talented students. In this I’ve been lucky, and Tom Wright has been solidly among that crop of new writers that the world is planting for the benefit of readers everywhere, as this collection makes evident. Tom writes about endings that are also transformations and redemptions, chances to change the past or future that are never insignificant. His characters deal with a world that sometimes makes no sense to them or seems actively hostile, always working to reclaim the pieces of it that they can. His details are evocative, his worlds richly realized. In the title story – or sequence, really, since it’s told in three parts – “The Baylah Run,” a trio of characters, Mae, Rhan, and Baylah, all struggle with their linkages to each other and Rhan’s dead wife, Jessine. Each successive part does what it should, building on and amplifying the preceding section. It could be an ordinary story of jealousy and the ghosts of memory, but Tom makes it more, finishing with one of those endings that hurts but feels right, as though the story could end no other way. Whether aliens talking in scent patterns or humans confined to a body that is brain and spine alone, Tom’s characters are unique, distinct personalities, ones that we come to care about, knowing all the while that they may not have achieved happiness by the end of the story, despite our good wishes for them. It’s the mark of a good storyteller that they can make you hold your breath in trepidation for a character, but continue reading on because you care whether or not they meet the fate you fear.

So read on. There’s plenty of surprises for you in store.

- Foreword by Cat Rambo"

(updated 2016-11-04)

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