Synopses & Reviews
“Ellen Datlow is the queen of anthology editors in America.”
With original stories by Jeffrey Ford, Pat Cadigan, Elizabeth Bear, Margo Lanagan, and others
From Del Rey Books and award-winning editor Ellen Datlow, two of the most respected names in science fiction and fantasy, comes a collection of fifteen all-new short stories, plus a science fiction novella, that could count as a virtual “best of the year” anthology. Here you will find slyly twisted alternate histories, fractured fairy tales, topical science fiction, and edgy urban fantasy.
In “Daltharee,” World Fantasy Award-winning author Jeffrey Ford spins a chilling tale of a city in a bottle-and the demented genius who put it there. In “Sonny Liston Takes the Fall,” John W. Campbell Award-winning author Elizabeth Bear pens a poignant and eerie requiem for the heavyweight forever associated with his controversial loss to Cassius Clay. From hot new writer Margo Lanagan comes “The Goosle,” a dark, astonishing take on Hansel and Gretel. In the novella “Prisoners of the Action,” Paul MccAuley and Kim Newman take a trip down a rabbit hole that leads to a Guantanamo-like prison whose inmates are not just illegal but extraterrestrial.
Many of the writers youll recognize. Others you may not. But one thing is certain: These stars of today and tomorrow demonstrate that the field of speculative fiction is not only alive and well-its better than ever.
"Declaring that short stories are the 'heart and soul of fantastical fiction,' prolific and venerable editor Datlow collects 16 impressive original stories in this unthemed anthology. Standout selections include Margo Lanagan's deeply disturbing 'The Goosle,' which eloquently corrupts the Hansel and Gretel fable with bubonic plague, sexual slavery and mass murder; Jason Stoddard's 'The Elephant Ironclads,' which describes an emergent 20th-century Navajo nation struggling to become a world power while staying true to its culture; Elizabeth Bear's 'Sonny Liston Takes the Fall,' a poignant tale about the life, death and sad legacy of the troubled heavyweight fighter; and Pat Cadigan's 'Jimmy,' a strange and supernatural coming-of-age story set in the moments just after John F. Kennedy's assassination. The thematic diversity and consistently high quality of narrative throughout make for a solid and enjoyable anthology." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)