With four brand new stories added, Phoenix Tales: Stories of Death & Life, Second Edition, is the new revision of the highly acclaimed short story collection from Gregory Bernard Banks. Compared to authors such as Roger Zelazny and Harlan Ellison, Banks takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotion with stories ranging from the sweet tale of a boy who simply wants to be Touched by a world he s struggling to understand, to the haunting and lyrical tale of the savior of abused kids known as "The Soul Man." Author Gregory Bernard Banks combines the colorful storytelling style of the Golden Age of science fiction with thoughtful exploration of the contemporary issues of today. Not only will these stories take you on a emotional journey, but they will leave you contemplating life and the human condition as well.
The author has marvelous figures of speech; I don't think I've seen it as thick and apt since the early career of Roger Zelazny.
“The author has marvelous figures of speech; I don’t think I’ve seen it as thick and apt since the early career of Roger Zelazny. Death is a central theme; one of the stories, ‘A Cup of Time,’ has death agents reminiscent of the Incarnations in my novel On A Pale Horse. That’s not to suggest it is any copy of mine; the death agent here is a luscious young-looking woman. (It can be hard to tell a woman’s age, especially when she’s immortal.) The lead story, ‘Escape Velocity,’ sets the tone: folk are kept alive interminably, and some really want to escape that fate. That is, to die. It makes perfect sense to me. So the adventure is how he manages to escape to death. ‘Touched’ made me remember Olaf Stapleton's Odd John. Some are slice of life (or death) pieces, with human insights... But for an experience in description and emotion, this is good.”
-Piers Anthony, Author of the Xanth series, as well as numerous other works.
from the FeBlueberry 2005 newsletter on Hipiers.com.
A brilliant collection of short stories of life and death...
“A brilliant collection of short stories of life and death, each one very different and individual, a separate story adding to make a truly awesome book. From the scorching lifeless heat of ‘Kachina Dawn’ to the coldly clinical hospital in ‘Escape Velocity,’ every aspect of the life and death experience is described beautifully. And ‘Soul Man’ is quite probably the best individual piece of writing I have ever seen. Gregory Banks says that he strives to achieve a perfect book, in this anthology, I believe he has succeeded.”
– Angela Hooper, Author of In Dark Minds.
I give this one five stars.’ That says it all.
“...There was a very well-known reviewer among our little professional writers’ group a few years ago. He gave reviews that were brutally honest, and all of us respected him greatly...A high rating from him meant something...He gave stars as review ratings, five being the highest. No one among us expected to get more than three stars, and two of the group were internationally known best-selling authors...I will rate this the way Ivan rated one of my books, with the exact words Ivan used...‘I do not give five stars to anything. I give this one five stars.’ That says it all.”
a peek at life through death, in all shapes and sizes
Phoenix Tales by Gregory Banks is an eclectic collection of death and rebirth short stories.
These death stories come in all shapes and sizes. Among many other topics, there are stories centering around cloning, apocalyptic events, and voodooism. They show characters dealing with regrets and consequences, acting out revenge, cowering in fear, and even embracing the end of this life. Some stories are funny, and some are poignant. One story even rhymes. Another is told from the perspective of the dead person at his funeral.
And they're very good stories, filled with conflicts, packed with drama, exploring love and hate and joy and sorrow. Banks's character studies show how versatile he is -- his stories gave me bunches of new perspective on how people live with death.