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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.
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]