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Life the second time around is short, strange and terrifying to the awakened. One “zombie”, victim of a bizarre scientific obsession, breaks away, leaving a trail of muder and miracle as he flees the Project and the horror his “life” hasbecome.
Lucius Shepard’s new story collection may well be his best yet. In nine novellas and stories, he traces a long-dead pirate’s murderous possession of a Caribbean islander, explains a grand tantric conspiracy, pits a fugitive killer against the malignant energies of the Dragon Griaule, exposes a small Pennsylvania town to a morally fraught extradimensional excursion…and there’s much more.
Written in Shepard’s characteristically brilliant moody prose, these are amongst the finest dark fantasies on offer today.
David Mingolla is one of many drug-pumped grunts slugging it out in the rotten jungles of Guatemala, an expendable pawn in an endless, amoral war. Then he meets Debora, an enigmatic young woman who may be working for the enemy, and stumbles into the deadly war zone of psychic conflict where the mind is the greatest woapon, and thoughts are used to kill.
The Jaguar Hunter brings together some of the 1980s’ finest speculative fiction. From the battlegrounds of near-future Latin America, to spirit-haunted Nepal, to the ecosystem on the body of a giant dragon, the stories vividly evoke both real-world and fantastic locales with thorough credibility. Shepard’s attention to character development and cultural detail are especially remarkable, and reflect his extensive world travels. Featured in the collection, “Salvador” won the Locus Award in 1985 and “R&R” the Nebula and Locus Awards in 1987.
In the last few years, Shepard has been utterly inspired, producing story after brilliant story. Now Trujillo—his biggest and best collection to date—assembles the cream of this extraordinary output: one novel, six novellas, and four novelettes, all of them portals into the most extreme and terrifying possibilities of contemporary existence.
Discover here a Russian nightclub that is also a metaphysical kingdom, the realm of terminal disillusionment; encounter here the strange ghosts and apocalypses latent in the War on Terror; read here of prison as Purgatory, of UFOs as emblems of criminal despair, of the merciless imperatives of evolution emerging from African jungles to remake the human race. And explore here, in five especially intense tales, the seedy yet magical precincts of Trujillo, where native Hondurans and expatriate Americans alike confront the illusory, demonic, and uncertainly redemptive essentials of memory and the human soul.
Trujillo is an unforgettable cornucopia of vision and violence-the story collection of the year.
A man walks into a bar. A dispute ensues, and the bartender kills him. He’s sentenced to ten years for manslaughter. In prison, the convict, Wardlin Stuart, writes prayers addressed to no god in particular. Inexplicably, his prayers—whether it’s a request for a girlfriend or a special favor for a fellow inmate—are answered, be it in days or weeks. When his collection of supplications, A Handbook of American Prayer, is published by a New York press, Stuart emerges a celebrity author.
Settling into a new life in Arizona, he encounters a fundamentalist minister. The two are destined for a confrontation. In the interim, it seems that the god to whom Stuart has been praying has manifested himself on the earth.
In this short novel about America’s conflicting love triangle—celebrity, spirituality, and money—Shepard negotiates the thin line between the real and the surreal, expounding upon violence and redemption along the way. This story of an unlikely American messiah shows why The Wall Street Journal has compared Shepard, an award-winning author, to Graham Greene, Robert Stone, and Ward Just.