An albino girl wanders the sun-scorched backroads of a south Georgia summer, following the bidding of an angel or perhaps only voices in her head, searching out and slaying ancient monsters who have hidden themselves away in the lonely places of the world. Caitlín R. Kiernan first introduced Dancy in the pages of her award-winning second novel, Threshold (2001), then went on to write several more short stories and a novella about this unlikely heroine, each a piece of what has become an epic dark fantasy narrative. Alabaster finally collects all these tales into one volume.
Poppy Z. Brite's first piece of original fiction since the levees broke, the long new novella D*U*C*K revisits Brite's popular characters Rickey and G-man (The Value of X, Liquor, Prime, Soul Kitchen).
Following a life-threatening assault by a waiter and the defection of one of his best cooks to a trendy new restaurant, Chef John Rickey accepts a gig catering the annual banquet for the South Louisiana branch of hunting/conservation group Ducks Unlimited. Held in the Cajun prairie town of Opelousas, this all-duck banquet mightn't seem a great opportunity for a chef to restore his wounded pride...but the guest of honor is Rickey's childhood football hero, former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert.
Rickey's crew is unstoppable, his menu is perfect, and the ducks are thick in the marshes this year. In Louisiana, though, every important occasion has a nutcase waiting in the wings...and all too often, the nutcase is an elected official. Will Rickey get the chance to cook for his idol, or will it end in chaos
I ducked into a niche between a cabin and the pilot house and hiked my skirt up enough to reach down into my garter holster. I've heard it said that God made all men, but Samuel Colt made all men equal. We'd see what Mr. Colt could do for a woman.
* * * * *
Jack Gabert went to India to serve his Queen. He returned to London a violently changed man, infected with an unnatural sickness that altered his body and warped his mind.
Eileen Callaghan left an Irish convent with a revolver and a secret. She knows everything and nothing about Jack's curse, but she cannot rest until he's caught. His soul cannot be saved. It can only be returned to God.
In the years following the American Civil War, the nun and unnatural creature stalk one another across the United States. Their dangerous game of cat and mouse leads them along great rivers, across dusty plains, and into the no man's land of the unmarked western territories.
Here are three tales of the hunt.
Reader, take this volume and follow these tormented souls. Learn what you can from their struggle—against each other, against God, and against themselves.
That's right. Ned the Seal of Zeppelins West survived the shark attack from his last adventure, and he's back in a new escapade starring Jules Verne, Mark Twain, H. G. Wells and his Martian invaders, as well as a number of surprise guests you may or may not recognize.
Yes, my friends, it's a story of Ned the Seal, adventurer, future dime novelist and fish lover, in a world not of his making. Not of his choice. In fact, no one knows for sure who made it or chose it. And boy is it a mess.
Besides our plucky seal, here too is Rikwalk, the forty foot tall ape. Beadle and John Feather, the Masters of the giant metal steam man of the prairie, stoked up and ready to fight Martian war machines.
Not since you stubbed your big toe on your way to the toilet in the middle of the night have there been so many surprises. Flaming London is a pure fun romp you can ride without benefit of bridle or saddle and it won't hurt your toe.
So kick back, turn on the fan, pull the covers up to your chin, prop up your back, and read this tale of seals unchained, Steam unharnessed, ruthless Martian invaders, and heroes.
The SF Grandmaster's follow up to the career retrospective Phases of the Moon is a glance back to the earliest days of his career. Included with pulp stories not reprinted in decades will be more of the commentary that made Phases so much more than just a collection.
"I have to confess, right up front here, that you will not find a great deal in the way of poetic vision in these stories, or singing prose, or deep insight into character. Nor are these stories that will tell you much that is new to you about the human condition. These are stories in what is now pretty much a lost tradition in science fiction, the simple and unselfconsciously fast-paced adventure story of the pulp-magazine era. They are stories from the dawn of my career, which began in the closing years of that era, and are straightforward tales of action, in the main, that were written partly for fun and partly for money."
—Robert Silverberg, from the Introduction
Abigail Irene Garrett drinks too much. She makes scandalous liaisons with inappropriate men, and if in her youth she was a famous beauty, now she is both formidable—and notorious. She is a forensic sorceress, and a dedicated officer of a Crown that does not deserve her loyalty.
She has nothing, but obligations.
Sebastien de Ulloa is the oldest creature she has ever known. He was no longer young at the Christian millennium, and that was nine hundred years ago. He has forgotten his birth-name, his birth-place, and even the year in which he was born, if he ever knew it. But he still remembers the woman who made him immortal.
He has everything, but a reason to live.
In a world where the sun never set on the British Empire, where Holland finally ceded New Amsterdam to the English only during the Napoleonic wars, and where the expansion of the American colonies was halted by the war magic of the Iroquois, they are exiles in the new world—and its only hope for justice.