April 18, 1987


Terence M. Green

Pottersfield Press, 137 pages, trade paperback
(ISBN 0 919001 33 5)


You might be tempted to pick up Terence Greenís new collection because both the author (Toronto) and publisher (Nova Scotia) are Canadian. We are all a little guilty of chauvinism when it comes to Canadian science fiction within the American-dominated field. No matter why you buy the book, you end up with excellent reading.

Terence Green is a wonderfully evocative writer. His precise, clean writing style sets off the complexity of his ideas.

Meet the Barking Dog, a concealable, foolproof lie detector; or a computer programmed to reconstruct a person by extrapolating on a past personality profile and projecting it into the future. Walk through maximum-security schools in which teachers are protected from their students. Find out where all those letters come from that appear out of the mail 50 years too late.

Around each nugget of an idea, the author builds a story of sharp and intriguing possibility. But it is the people who are the focal point, not the technology or the changes in the human condition. Whatever Green touches, from the thoughts of a patron of a sleazy strip joint to the pain of a parent who loses a child, it is a gentle and loving treatment filled with warm insight and tender humor. Whatever our foibles, whatever our deficiencies, Greenís fondness for humanity illuminates his characters. If there is a weakness in this collection, itís that it is too short.

The Woman Who is the Midnight Wind is an inspiring read, not just good Canadian writing, not just good science fiction. It reaches out to touch your heart, mind and soul. Highly recommended.

Patricia Caven