Results of the World Fantasy Award in the year 1994.
Ray Shackleford lives in the ruins of the idealistic 1960s. Veteran of failed garage bands, he works as a repairman of stereo equipment, tending the dying embers of his marriage, and dreaming of bygone days and the music that almost was. When he finds the music he dreams of has been mysteriously recorded by his tape deck, Ray is drawn into the past, to revisit the histories of Hendrix, Morrison, and the Beatles…along with the history of Ray Shackleford. Vividly re-creating a lost era that might have been, Glimpses fuses the hopes and dreams in the music with a powerful vision of reality.
Robert McGee is a man living under a dark cloud. Acclaimed cartoonist of the underground comic book Birdland, he has moved his family from Texas to New Orleans and finally to Missing Mile, North Carolina. But Robert is unable to escape the drinking and the violence that have become as natural to him as breathing. Soon after he and his family settle into a decrepit farmhouse, Robert kills his wife, his younger son, and then himself. Only his five-year-old son, Trevor, is left alive.
Twenty years later Trevor McGee, also a cartoonist, returns to Missing Mile to the house in which his family once lived. He has been running from the truth for years, and finally realizes he must face his demons. He fears that what happened to his father will happen to him. But if it does, Trevor thinks, at least I won’t have anyone to kill. Then he befriends Zachary Bosch, a computer hacker from New Orleans running from the law. In the house, which Trevor calls Birdland, they must confront much more than bad memories. For the house itself carries its own dark force, which threatens to envelop Trevor in the past and destroy him.
The Innkeeper’s Song is the story of young Tikat’s search for the lover whose death and resurrection he witnessed. It is a search that will lead him into a world of magic and mystery beyond his comprehension, for his wild ride sets him on the trail of three women who are blessed—or cursed—to undertake an impossible mission of their own. Each of the three has secrets—from the world, from the two others, from herself. Each is followed by demons she can never escape. And all their destinies will be irrevocably linked in a far distant inn, when hunted and hunters finally meet.
Karsh, the innkeeper, has no choice but to let the tangled drama unfold beneath his roof; his stable boy, Rosseth, is so mesmerized by the three cloaked women that he is soon finds a way to uncover what is perhaps their deepest secret; and Tikat continues his journey, refusing to let death bring an end to his love. But it is not until the once-powerful man who has called the…[more]
The changeling’s decision to steal a dragon and escape was born, though she did not know it then, the night the children met to plot the death of their supervisor…
With these words, author Michael Swanwick ushers us into a remarkable realm of darkest fantasy, erotic dreams and industrial magicks—equaling the undiluted power and uniqueness of vision of his Nebula award-winning masterwork Stations of the Tide.
Jane is a human changeling child coming of age in a world of violence and monsters. An abused outcast, she toils unceasingly alongside trolls, dwarves, shifters and feys in the dank, stygian bowels of a steam dragon plant helping to construct the massive, black iron flying machines the elvan rulers use for waging war. Young Jane’s days are bleak and her future seems hopeless—until…[more]
In 336 b.c., Egypt lay under the yoke of Persia, ruled by Governors appointed by the King of Kings in Persis. And in the Temple of Amon in Thebes dwelt the only living child of Nectanebo, the last fully Egyptian Pharaoh, who had been defeated in battle and slain by Darius’s servants. But from the north a spirit of fire was moving across the World. A great warrior and general, the king of Macedonia, had risen to rule the Hellenic city-states. Now he was determined to challenge the might of the Persian Empire, to engage Darius himself in battle, and to defeat him. He was called Alexander, and the priests of Amon in Egypt saw that he was destined to rule their ancient land.
They saw, too, that if Alexander did not come into the Two Lands soon, the servants of Darius would despoil Egypt beyond recovery. So they sent Meriamon, Beloved of Amon, daughter of Pharaoh, Singer and Priestess of the God, up from Egypt to the Plains…[more]
As a sculptor of metal, Tess is consumed with the perfection of welds, the drip of liquid metal, addicted to the burn. Her solitary existence ends when she meets Bibi. A self-proclaimed “guerilla performance artist,” Bibi pushes her body to the utmost in her dancing, sculpting it into a finely tuned machine. But the limits of her body frustrate her. With Tess, she creates a performance art of mobile, bladelike sculptures and human dance that becomes increasingly violent and dangerous. Still this is not enough for Bibi. Her desire to grow and transform leads her to body piercing, then to ritual cuttings and scarrings. And further. Though Tess breaks their partnership, she cannot stop Bibi’s dark exploration of the limits of her body. Her search is self-destructive, all-encompassing…unstoppable.
A tormented writer, unable to exorcise the demons of his past…an all-American town, plagued by horrific secrets…a beautiful woman, brutally murdered by a twisted killer thought long dead—or by an even more terrifying copycat?