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Welcome back to Geeking Cool’s Bookwyrm. Over the past few weeks I have been reviewing, story-by-story, an anthology of short fiction edited by Lincoln Crisler. Most of the stories have been fairly good and, in fact, many of them have been very good. Each has been interesting though, an exploration of what would happen if a normal John or Jane Doe had superpowers. Today, I found myself reading “Illusion” by Karina Fabian. Often a writer of comedic fantasy and horror, there is nothing funny about this story featuring a character from her novel Mind Over Mind.

“Illusion” is the story of a day in the life of Deryl Stephens, a boy with the unique talent to read the minds and feel the sensations of others. The only problem is that he has not learned to control these powers and they often get him into quite a bit of trouble at the private school he attends. It is even getting hard for the thirteen-year-old to remember who he really is with all the thoughts of others getting jumbled up with his own. When an incident at school involving a bully from the senior class lands him in the councilor’s office, things come to a head. The councilor doesn’t believe that he is psychic, despite the evidence he provides and ultimately, Deryl feels completely lost and alone.

Fabian does a wonderful job crafting this story. It moves along at a nice, even pace and keeps the reader fully involved. She manages to evoke the feelings of what it must be like to be a completely untrained psychic on the verge of losing one’s self. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen or read anything in which the psychic finds it hard to remember who they actually are either (excluding the Heroes season in which Syler was made to believe he was Peter). Huge points for originality and style. I give “Illusion” 

Corrupts Absolutely? maintains 4.5 alien heads as a collection. I would check it out as soon as possible.