Annal: 2011 World Fantasy Award for Collection

Results of the World Fantasy Award in the year 2011.

Book:What I Didn't See and Other Stories

What I Didn't See: and Other Stories

Karen Joy Fowler

In her moving and elegant new collection, New York Times bestseller Karen Joy Fowler writes about John Wilkes Booth’s younger brother, a one-winged man, a California cult, and a pair of twins, and she digs into our past, present, and future in the quiet, witty, and incisive way only she can.

The sinister and the magical are always lurking just below the surface: for a mother who invents a fairy-tale world for her son in “Halfway People”; for Edwin Booth in “Edwin’s Ghost,” haunted by his fame as “America’s Hamlet” and his brother’s terrible actions; for Norah, a rebellious teenager facing torture in “The Pelican Bar” as she confronts Mama Strong, the sadistic boss of a rehabilitation facility; for the narrator recounting her descent in “What I Didn’t See.”

With clear and insightful prose, Fowler’s stories measure the human capacities for hope and despair, brutality and kindness. This collection, which includes two Nebula Award winners, is sure to delight readers, even as it pulls the rug out from underneath them.

Book:The Ammonite Violin & Others

The Ammonite Violin: & Others

Caitlín R. Kiernan

One of contemporary dark fantasy’s most bewitching and distinctive voices is back with another banquet of the weird and unexpected. “Kiernan creates her own light in this remarkable collection, and shines it on dark places. In doing so, she gives us gritty, lyrical, horrible, beautiful truths.” (Jeff VanderMeer in his introduction)

In The Ammonite Violin & Others, the author rises to meet the high expectations she set with such collections as Tales of Pain and Wonder, A is for Alien, and the World Fantasy Award-nominated To Charles Fort, With Love. Within these pages, you’ll discover a dazzling suite of stories situated on the borderlands between the unspeakbale and the erotic, the grotesque and the sublime. Here are stories of dream and metamorphosis, strange lands and beings existing beyond the veil of death and beyond this earth. Here is a selkie who’s lost her sealskin, a woman with a blackhole in her heart, a fairie girl…[more]

Book:Holiday (M. Rickert)

Holiday (M. Rickert)

M. Rickert

Ghosts and mythic beings populate this holiday-themed collection of eleven tales to read by candlelight. “Holiday,” a story of all holidays for a dead girl and the man who sees her, is followed by New Year’s Day and “Memoir of a Deer Woman,” a woman’s transformation into a deer leaves her husband desperate for her words. Valentine’s Day is celebrated with “Journey into the Kingdom,” winner of the World Fantasy Award, where a young girl falls in love with a ghost. A May Day wedding in “The Machine” is a tale of innocence lost and terrible revenge, a story not for the faint of heart. Mother’s Day brings us a future where women who have had abortions are punished in “Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment: One Daughter’s Personal Account.” Father’s Day is marked by asking what is lost forever when a stolen boy returns, in “Don’t Ask.” In a story for Independence Day, a nine-year-old girl’s first act of independence is also an act of revenge, in “Traitor.” Not all anniversaries…[more]

Book:Sourdough and Other Stories

Sourdough: and Other Stories

Angela Slatter

Welcome to the beautiful magic, restless passion and exquisite horror of Angela Slatter’s impeccably imagined tales. In the cathedral-city of Lodellan and its uneasy hinterland, babies are fashioned from bread, dolls are given souls and wishes granted may be soon regretted. There are ghosts who dream, men whose wings have been clipped and trolls who long for something other. Love, loss and life are elegantly dissected in Slatter’s earthy yet poetic prose.

Book:The Third Bear

The Third Bear

Jeff VanderMeer

Compared by critics to Borges, Nabokov, and Kafka, inventive contemporary fantasist Jeff VanderMeer continues to amaze with this surreal, innovative, and absurdist gathering of award-winning short fiction. Exotic beasts and improbable travelers roam restlessly through these darkly diverting and finely-honed tales.

Highlights include “The Situation,” in which a beleaguered office worker creates a child-swallowing manta-ray to be used for educational purposes (once described as Dilbert meets Gormenghast); “Three Days in a Border Town,” where a sharpshooter seeks the truth about her husband in an elusive floating City beyond a far-future horizon; “Errata,” following an oddly-familiar writer who has marshaled a penguin, a shaman, and two pearl-handled pistols with which to plot the end of the world. Also included are two stories original to this collection, including “The Quickening,” in which a lonely child is torn between familial obligation and a wounded talking rabbit.

Chimerical and hypnotic, VanderMeer leads readers through the postmodern into a new literature of the imagination.

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