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Carniepunkby Rachel Caine
Synopses & Reviews
A star-studded urban fantasy anthology starring bestselling authors Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire, and Rob Thurman, and including Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Gay, Mark Henry, Hillary Jacques, Jackie Kessler, Kelly Meding, Allison Pang, Nicole D. Peeler, and Jaye Wells, whose stories explore the creepy, mysterious, and, yes, sometimes magical world of traveling carnivals.
The traveling carnival is a leftover of a bygone era, a curiosity lurking on the outskirts of town. It is a place of contradictions — the bright lights mask the peeling paint; a carnie in greasy overalls slinks away from the direction of the Barker’s seductive call. It is a place of illusion — is that woman’s beard real? How can she live locked in that watery box?
And while many are tricked by sleight of hand, there are hints of something truly magical going on. One must remain alert and learn quickly the unwritten rules of this dark show. To beat the carnival, one had better have either a whole lot of luck or a whole lot of guns — or maybe some magic of one’s own.
Featuring stories grotesque and comical, outrageous and action-packed, Carniepunk is the first anthology to channel the energy and attitude of urban fantasy into the bizarre world of creaking machinery, twisted myths, and vivid new magic.
"Paranormals of varying temperaments and dispositions amp up the mystery and magic intrinsic to carnival midways in this anthology of 14 new stories, some of which extend their authors' long-running urban fantasy series. In Kelly Medding's clever 'Freak House,' the daughter of a gypsy and a djinn schemes to liberate her captive father from an unscrupulous sideshow owner. Rachel Caine's poignant 'The Cold Girl' unfolds at a carnival whose resident vampire gives a dying murder victim a new lease on (un)life and an opportunity to revenge herself on her attacker. In Alison Pang's 'A Duet with Darkness,' a mortal musician puts her soul in pawn to a fey violinist when she borrows his enchanted instrument to perform at a carnival music show. In several selections, such as Mark Henry's 'The Sweeter the Juice,' the carnival setting seems more an underdeveloped afterthought than a crucial story element. Regardless, the alternating currents of horror and fantasy that course through this volume ensure that readers of several genre tastes will find stories to their liking." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Rachel Caine is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series, the Weather Warden series, the Outcast Season series, and the new Revivalist series.
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