Points of Possibility, by Norman Turrell: A Review

Norman Turrell’s rich imagination encompasses pure science fiction, fantasy, steampunk points-of-possibilityand horror, and in his short story collection Points of Possibility he considers the world from all these viewpoints. Competently crafted, the stories range from brief vignettes (From the Grave to the Grave, Little Angel) to more traditionally structured stories (Paranoia, The Muse).

Several of the stories have complex societies, not our own, for their setting, and the events of the story are not always sufficient to answer the reader’s questions about that society. In itself that’s not a bad thing; a brief glimpse into a different world structure can be both tantalizing and thought-provoking, but in the story Court I found it insufficient to make the story satisfying, whereas in It Came from Pluto there was no such lack.

One other fairly minor niggle was a tendency in some stories (the final paragraph of Change of Mind, especially) to tell us, rather than show us, what is happening in the mind of the protagonist (compare its last paragraph with the last paragraph of Little Angel, where the words of the protagonist there serve to give full realization to the horror, rather than just describe it). But overall, this is a fine collection of short stories ranging through most aspects of the fantasy/sci-fi genres, perfect for Hallowe’en (or any other time). Four stars.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.