The collective force of McCrosky’s Lifting Weights is a raw adventure into the unknown. In Death TV you meet a butterfly collector whose explorations into violent mayhem in television programming draws out our society’s preoccupation with watching people die as a source of entertainment. A journalist with a nose for a good story takes us inside the world of “thinking machines” in the form of cybernetic horses, and tries to discover whether they conform to her dictum that living means being true to your identity. In the surreal tale Sand Dove an unhappy woman leaves her husband and makes her way to small beach community where she finds an injured bird that is able to conjure for her a daily baby to compensate for all the miscarriages she has had. In the title story Lifting Weights Jane and Sandra, future archeologists on an alien planet, have their lives tested in climbing to the surface of a dark underground cavern into which they have fallen. In their quest to survive one of them discovers a new inner strength that had always eluded her, while she solves an ancient alien mystery as to why the civilization on the planet became extinct.
McCrosky’s imagination knows few limits, though in her quest to entertain in these twelve stories she remains true to her themes of optimism and exploration, while maintaining her central vision that our greatest fears and threats are conquerable.