The ED SF Project

The Ellen Datlow/SCI FICTION Project, that is. We're showing the love for five and a half years of great short fiction, and we need your help! We've got over 300 stories to cover, so if you're a person who loves short speculative fiction, we want you. Go here to read the list and add your voice.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Abimagique" by Lucius Shepard: An Appreciation by Sue Lange

There is never any reason not to read Lucius Shepard.

Take "Abimagique" for instance. If this had been written by anybody else, about a sixth of the way through the story, I would have been saying: okay, it's a male fantasy story that stars a hypnotizing seductress that is just impossible to resist and that eats him in the end. Yeah, like I've never seen this before. And I would read no further. Why would I bother? But it was Lucius Shepard this time and since his endings are never predictable, I stuck it out. And you know what? I was right; his endings are never predictable. As much as I'd like to tell what happened this time, I can't. Why not? Because I'm a thoughtful citizen that knows it's not nice to spoil? No, I'm not nice, in fact. It's because as usual with Lucius Shepard, I don't exactly know what happened in the end. And by the time I figure it out, I will have forgotten the URL for this project and so won't be able to ruin it for everyone else.

Suffice it to say, Mr. Shepard's writing is as great here as it always is. I read some writers' work to get the gist or the plot or the moral. I read Shepard's work just because it's so wonderful. The stuff flows and once I get into it I can't step out, I can't turn and go upstream, I can only go with it. His work is like the hypnotizing seductress that even as you watch yourself falling further and further under her spell, you can't resist. And in the end you'll be eaten. Well, maybe not that, but you do sort of get knocked for a loop.

Fabulous story.

Link to story.


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