Results of the World Fantasy Award in the year 2007.
Set in a reality where nightmares do not fade upon waking, this anthology skims along the surface of life and dips just beneath, revealing the hidden machinations that fuel dreams. These underlying myths and fantasies exist not as musty old stories but as ancient truths that have come to illuminate the modern human condition. The title story touches on themes of grief, redemption, and time travel; “Cold Fire” ventures into love and obsession; and “Peace on Suburbia” introduces readers to a Christmas with an entirely different kind of savior. These and 13 other tales are framed by four interludes—Dreams, Nightmares, Waking, and Rising—that guide readers through a world that is at once familiar and eerily off-kilter.
From the author of the acclaimed novel The Snowman’s Children and the award-winning collection The Two Sams comes American Morons, a new collection of dazzling and haunting tales…
Two traveling college students confront their disintegrating relationship and the new American reality in a breakdown lane along the Italian Superstrade. A woman chases the ghost of her neglectful father to a vanished amusement park at the end of the Long Beach pier. Two recently retired teachers learn just how much Los Angeles has taken from them.
In these atmospheric, wide-ranging, surprisingly playful, and deeply mournful stories, grandkids and widows, ice cream-truck drivers and judges, travelers and invalids all discover and sometimes even survive the everyday losses from which the most vengeful ghosts so often spring.
Mixing the mundane with the metaphysical, the pairings of the everyday and the extraordinary in this collection of short fiction yield supernatural results—a young musician perceives another world while drinking coffee, a fairy chronicles his busy life in a sandcastle during the changing tide, a demonic 16th-century chess set shows up in a New Jersey bar, and Charon, the boatman of hell, takes a few days vacation. Storylines both conventional and outlandish reveal humdrum routines as menacing, or imaginary worlds as perfectly familiar. Allusions to authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and Jules Verne reinforce the fantasy tradition in these tales, while understated humor and moments of sadness add a quirky unpredictability.
Also included is the previously unpublished novella, “Botch Town,” a coming-of-age story about a boy on Long Island whose family and friends live ordinary lives under threats both real and imagined. Each story is followed by a brief afterword that details its genesis.
Following the enormous success of 2004 bestseller and critics’ favorite Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke delivers a delicious collection of ten stories set in the same fairy-crossed world of 19th-century England. With Clarke’s characteristic historical detail and diction, these dark, enchanting tales unfold in a slightly distorted version of our own world, where people are bedeviled by mischievous interventions from the fairies. With appearances from beloved characters from her novel, including Jonathan Strange and Childermass, and an entirely new spin on certain historical figures, including Mary, Queen of Scots, this is a must-have for fans of Susanna Clarke’s and an enticing introduction to her work for new readers. Some of these stories have never before been published; others have appeared in the New York Times or in highly regarded anthologies. In this collection, they come together to expand the reach of Clarke’s land of enchantment—and anticipate her next novel (Fall 2008).
Margo Lanagan’s Electrifying stories take place in worlds not quite our own, and yet each one illuminates what it is to be human. They are stories of yearning for more, and learning to live with what you have. Stories that show the imprint love leaves on us all.
If you think you don’t like short fiction, that a story can’t have the depth or impact of a novel, then you haven’t read Margo Lanagan. A writer this startling and this original doesn’t come along very often. So for anyone who likes to be surprised, touched, unsettled, intrigued, or scared senseless, prepare to be dazzled by what a master storyteller can do in a few short pages.