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Includes works by: Richard Adams; Kurt Andersen; Lawrence Block; Jonathan Carroll; Roddy Doyle; Jefferey Deaver; Jeffrey Ford; Neil Gaiman; Joanne Harris; Elizabeth Hand; Joe Hill; Kat Howard; Diana Wynne Jones; Joe R. Lansdale; Michael Moorcock; Walter Mosley; Joyce Carol Oates; Stewart O'Nan; Chuck Palahniuk; Carolyn Parkhurst; Jodi Picoult; Al Sarrantino; Michael Marshall Smith; Peter Straub; Michael Swanwick; Gene Wolfe.
Neil Gaiman is a messy-haired white male author trapped in the body of an identical white male author with perhaps even less-tidy hair. His books and comics have won many awards. He thanks you for your offer of a comb but does not believe it would do any good. Despite being English, he lives more in America than he does anywhere else in the world, and is currently somewhere in his mid-forties.
This collection of 27 never-before published stories from an impressive cast-Roddy Doyle, Joyce Carol Oates, and Stuart O'Nan, among others-sets out to shift genre paradigms. The overarching theme is "fantastic fiction," or "fiction of the imagination," with "fantasy" being used in the most broad-sweeping sense rather than signaling the familiar commercial staples of elves, ghouls, and robots. Consequently, the collection's offerings run a wide gamut. In Joe Hill's "Devil on the Staircase," an Italian boy commits a crime of passion and subsequently meets an emissary of Satan. In Jodi Picoult's "Weights and Measures," a young couple who have just lost their daughter struggle to hold their marriage together as they both start noticing strange changes taking place. Chuck Palahniuk's "The Loser" features a college kid on acid as a contestant on a game show, and in Kurt Andersen's "Human Intelligence," a geologist meets an explorer from another planet who has been studying humans for the past 1,600 years. The range of voices and subjects practically guarantees something for any reader, but the overall quality is frustratingly variable: most stories are good, some aren't, and few are exceptional. (June) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.