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Signs and Portents

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  22 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Collection. Story list: Afterword (essay); Arrows; Best Interests; Coasting; Depth of Focus; Do Not Forsake Me, O' My Darlin'; End of the Carnival; Fugitive Colors; Ghosts at Iron River; Savoury, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme; Space/Time Arabesque.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 1st 1987 by Jove (first published May 1st 1984)
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In truth, I got this through Inter-Library Loan simply to read one story - from my "stories to be read" list - that appears here. I do have another compilation of hers to read sometime in the future.

The story was "Depth of Focus" - it's a solid story with no real fantastic element to speak of (my only previous Yarbro short fiction reading has been the occasional dark fantasy of vampire story). In "Depth of Focus" a Weegee-like crime photographer, callous and indifferent to the human suffering he
Andrew Reeder
May 26, 2013 Andrew Reeder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro pens real horror stories--the kind that make you squirm in your seat and pause often, putting the book down until you muster the stomach and courage to continue. However, she writes what I call "quiet weirdings"; where tension and fear are derived from subtleties of atmosphere and psychological distress. She is, in my opinion, one of the finest writers of our time. The Scream Press edition is a well-crafted book and the signed edition is slipcased with a satin ribbon bookmar ...more
Do Not Forsake Me, O' My Darlin' - An executive receives an invitation to his own funeral. This story was quite predictable.

Depth of Focus - A photographer with a flat affect receives his comeuppance.

Space/Time Arabesque - What happens to history when a graduate student tampers with the structure of the universe.

Savoury, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - Hell hath no fury

Robert Beveridge
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Signs and Portents (Jove, 1984)

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is a wonderful writer who doesn't mind wallowing in the literary muck now and then; she harbors no illusions that she's too good for, well, anyone. That pretty much assures the uninitiated Yarbro fan (for there are two types of people on Earth, Yarbro fans and those who have not yet been exposed to her work) that any piece of fiction the woman has turned out is going to be a fun time. Signs and Portents is no exception to
Jan 03, 2014 Megan rated it liked it
This is a diverse collection, and somewhat weaker for it-- her genre pieces are mostly solid, predictable at worst, but the more realistic stories felt more hokey and clumsy with symbolism. Mostly enjoyable, with Fugitive Colors standing out as an excellent and unnerving story.
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A professional writer for more than forty years, Yarbro has sold over eighty books, more than seventy works of short fiction, and more than three dozen essays, introductions, and reviews. She also composes serious music. Her first professional writing - in 1961-1962 - was as a playwright for a now long-defunct children's theater company. By the mid-60s she had switched to writing stories and hasn' ...more
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