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Thirteen Phantasms: And Other Storiesby James P. Blaylock
Synopses & Reviews
The first short story collection from Philip K. Dick Award-winning author James Blaylock features sixteen thought-provoking forays into the fantastic — from a tale of alien influence on an ordinary neighborhood to the story of one man's self-destructive obsession with a dragon.
"I can?t recall enjoying a recent collection more than I savored James Blaylock's Thirteen Phantasms...evoking illustrious predecessors such as Bradbury, Simak, and Jack Finney, Blaylock proves that whimsical surfaces can hide the steeliest armatures. A story such as 'Doughnuts' is at once both hilarious and heartbreaking in its depiction of romantic befuddlement. Blaylock's topflight novels have earned him recognition as one of the country?s finest fantasists. But his short fiction is less well-known, and this career retrospective is the perfect opportunity to become acquainted with Blaylock and his troupe of earnest eccentrics." Paul Di Filippo, Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine
"Thirteen Phantasms and Other Stories is a career writ small — a collection of fantasies filled with the odd, the unusual, and the wonderful, all of which express a faith in the human spirit and in the glory to be found in our day-to-day lives." Jonathan Strahan, Locus
"Highly recommended as a change of pace from whatever you might be reading." Science Fiction Chronicle
"This collection stands on the ill-defined border between fantasy, magic realism and mainstream fiction, but it should definitely stand on the shelf of any reader interested in the literary end of the genre....'Thirteen Phantasms' is a charming tale about loving the pulps, wish fulfillment, time travel, and the United States Post Office....'The Ape-Box Affair'...had me laughing my proverbial butt off in public in a waiting room....'Nets of Silver and Gold'...as a whole is magical. One of the best stories in the volume. Blaylock's genius as a storyteller perhaps shines best in compact stories about the strangeness in the lives of otherwise very real people." Tangent
"An extraordinary gathering of stories that reveals the enormous range that can be found in specific regional settings, exemplifies the magic that can be discovered in the large writ small — how a universe of wonder can be found just around the corner of our everyday world. Edgy yarns situated on that slipstream gap between mainstream literature and genre fiction, the contents of Thirteen Phantasms illuminates the strange and the magical that awaits on the boundaries of our vision for those readers willing to travel where Blaylock?s brilliant, poetic prose will take them." Blue Iris Journal
"Blaylock is a true one-of-a-kind original and a short-story collection from him is cause for celebration and rejoicing." Neil Gaiman
"For the better part of the past two decades, James Blaylock has been documenting with quiet and uncommon eloquence the existence of a California that lies just around the corner of the eye, a place of supernal beach fogs and fleeting magicks that vanishes when you turn to look directly at it, but is there nonetheless. The thoughtful, vividly drawn stories that make up Thirteen Phantasms form a marvelous introduction to the elusive portion of the Golden State and to the mind of one of the most significant fantasy writers of our time." Lucius Shepard
"While Blaylock remains equally adept at both novels and short stories, it's the latter that inhabit a particularly fond place in my mind. Their individual vision and resonant prose are the reasons I consider him to be one of the finest writers we have working in North America today." Charles de Lint
This long-awaited collection showcases sixteen of Blaylock's acclaimed short stories, including two World Fantasy Award winners.
The first short story collection from Philip K. Dick Award-winning author James Blaylock features 16 thought-provoking forays into the fantastic.
About the Author
Winner of the World Fantasy Award and the Philip K. Dick Award, James P. Blaylock is the author of Winter Tides, All the Bells on Earth, Night Relics, The Paper Grail, The Last Coin, Land of Dreams, Homunculus, and The Digging Leviathan. He lives in Orange, California, where he is a creative writing instructor at Chapman University.
Table of Contents
Thirteen phantasms — Red planet — The Ape-Box affair — Bugs — Nets of silver and gold — The better boy — The pink of fading neon — The Old Curiosity Shop — Doughnuts — Two views of a cave painting — The Idol's eye — Paper dragons — We traverse afar — The shadow on the doorstep — Myron Chester and the toads — Unidentified objects.
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