Annal: 1991 World Fantasy Award for Collection

Results of the World Fantasy Award in the year 1991.

Book:The Start of the End of It All

The Start of the End of It All: Short Fiction

Carol Emshwiller

“It is important and salutary to speak of incomprehensible things,” aliens advise the middle-aged divorcée in “The Start of the End of It All.” So begins a master plan to change the world, eliminating cats and establishing a “vast kitchen network.”

Replete with fierce humor and insight, Carol Emshwiller’s stories turn reality upside down. Humans are seen by soaring bird-men as those creatures “with heavy thighs, flat faces, funny little teeth all in a row.” And everyday life is seldom predictable: One morning a man awakens in his small, neat apartment to find a winged, naked woman with wild eyes.

Emshwiller’s tales are full of ordinary people discovering extraordinary lives. In “The Circular Library of Stones,” a woman finds a buried library in which she daily makes startling archaeological finds. In another story, a woman suddenly decides…[more]

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