Jonathan Fesmire / 268 pages / (September 13, 2007)

ISBN: 1411637216

Sometimes, fantasy can become a bit monotonous. In fictional worlds where magic exists and everyone has amazing powers and the line between “good” and “evil” is always razor sharp… well, perfection gets tedious after awhile. That may just be why Fesmire’s work is so refreshing; in the stories of Seeds Of Vision nobody’s perfect and not all wizards are created equal.

The first story in the collection seems tailor-made for Tales From The Darkside or Amazing Stories. Laurence, a young man with too much time on his hands and far more money than he needs, and his best friend, Miranda, give magic a try and find themselves in over their heads. Miranda is a feisty woman who thinks on her feet, and is an extremely appealing character. Picture “Her Likeness” on the screen and see what I mean.

For a truly chilling villain, turn to “Mud Puppies.” Herman Underwood is one of the most disturbing sociopaths to come along in quite awhile, and he just gets more horrifying as the story progresses. As much as I loathe pit bulls, I wouldn’t wish Herman on a dog. Come to think of it, maybe they are perfect for each other.

“The Missing Half Of Irian” introduces Fesmire’s intriguing concept of “duals.” Irian and Oanya, you’ll find, have a lot in common, especially when you consider the fact that they inhabit a single body. Of course, you wouldn’t know it was the same body, unless they let the secret slip. This one body shape-shifts from a male to a female, depending on which person is in control. Oanya is the one in the dress and the missing half. Both are in danger.

If you’re experiencing vampire deficiency, “Heather’s Family” is there for you. This is not your average, glamourous undead story; this is more like the sobering reality of what would really happen to an average family with such a problem. No castles, no raven-haired temptresses in this picture, just a bare-roots existence and some difficult choices.

Of course, not all is intrigue and a war of powers. Seeds Of Vision offers plenty of comedy relief. Just looking at the title “,” it’s obvious that this is a naughtily playful look at a meeting of legend and life today. “Chasing Down Charlie” is a charming fantasy that will entertain plus is perfect to read to children. In fact, put Fesmire together with a talented artist, and there is a children’s book in the making.

Comedy, action, sorcery — it’s a taste of everything fantasy can be. And it features characters that feel real, not perfect or all-powerful; people with talents and weakness — just like us. The very best part may well be Fesmire’s voice. He tells a story in a way that is so accessible, it feels as if he were there, telling you the story face-to-face.

He’s waiting to tell you a story. Take a seat and listen.