TALES FROM THE MISKATONIC LIBRARY edited by Darrell Schweitzer and John Ashmead.

2341dfdf44cb4af5a5100ada4b36d83f830e6a70Darrell has managed to gather another great bunch of story tellers, plus artist Jeff Potter to complete the package. Here’s John to tell you more:

Triskaidekaphiliacs rejoice, triskaidekaphobes despair—there are exactly thirteen stories. Quite by coincidence! (and nothing to do with the fact that thirteen is my personal lucky number). And you get intros by both Darrell & myself. Quite a range of stories: funny, grim, grimly funny, paradoxical, and terrifyingly straightforward. Our ultimate criteria was that both Darrell and I enjoyed reading them—and hope you will as well.

And here is the line up

  • Don Webb. “Slowly Ticking Time Bomb”
  • Adrian Cole. “Third Movement”
  • Dirk Flinthart. “To be In Ulthar”
  • Harry Turtledove. “Interlibrary Loan”
  • P. D. Cacek. “One Small Chance”
  • Will Murray. “A Trillion Young”
  • A. C. Wise. “The Paradox Collection”
  • Marilyn “Mattie” Brahen. “The Way to a Man’s Heart”
  • Douglas Wynne. “The White Door”
  • Alex Shvartsman. “Recall Notice”
  • James Van Pelt. “The Children’s Collection”
  • Darrell Schweitzer. “Not in the Card Catalogue”
  • Robert M. Price. “The Bonfire of the Blasphemies”

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BEST NEW HORROR #27

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In this latest edition of THE WORLD’S LONGEST-RUNNING ANNUAL SHOWCASE OF HORROR AND DARK FANTASY you will find cutting-edge stories by such authors as Robert Aickman, Storm Constantine, Gemma Files, Neil Gaiman, John Langan, Helen Marshall and Steve Rasnic Tem, amongst many others, along with the usual OVERVIEW OF THE YEAR IN HORROR and NECROLOGY of those who have left us.

 

Here’s the line-up:

  • Introduction: Horror in 2015 — The Editor
  • The Coffin House — ROBERT AICKMAN
  • The Lake — DANIEL MILLS
  • The Barnacle Daughter — RICHARD GAVIN
  • Exposure — HELEN MARSHALL
  • The Larder — NICHOLAS ROYLE
  • The Seventh Wave — LYNDA E. RUCKER
  • Underground Economy — JOHN LANGAN
  • The Drowning City — LOREN RHOADS
  • The Chapel of Infernal Devotion — RON WEIGHELL
  • Alma Mater — KATE FARRELL
  • Hibakusha — L. P. LEE
  • The Offing — CONRAD WILLIAMS
  • Marrowvale — KURT FAWVER
  • Hairwork — GEMMA FILES
  • Black Dog — NEIL GAIMAN
  • In the Earth — STORM CONSTANTINE
  • In the Lovecraft Museum — STEVE RASNIC TEM
  • Necrology: 2015 — Stephen Jones & Kim Newman

Order yours now.

Jack Dann’s Psychological Horror, CONCENTRATION.

aa3204c5531d54ea41677a44c1765612f3259ad1Jack Dann’s groundbreaking anthologies WANDERING STARS and MORE WANDERING STARS used the tropes of science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism to ask—and try to answer!—what it means to be a Jew. In this new collection, Jack enlists the techniques of fabulation to illuminate one of the defining events in human history: the Nazi Holocaust. Author and critic Marleen Barr has written that “Dann is a Faulkner and a Márquez for Jews”; and CONCENTRATION is a testament to that claim, for these confronting and thought provoking stories are written from a perspective rarely seen in literature. CONCENTRATION is nothing less than an attempt to describe the indescribable . . . to come to terms with the unthinkable. The Holocaust was so terrible, so far on the edges of comprehension, so surreal, so psychologically cyclonic and horrific in dimension and effect that perhaps it might best be glimpsed through the reflections of metaphor and fantasy.

Dann answers the historian Hayden White’s call to revise our notion of what constitutes realistic representation in order “to take account of experiences that are unique to our century and for which older modes of representation have proven inadequate.”

And given the historical amnesia that seems to characterize our time, a work such as this is also . . . necessary.

And here’s artist Amanda Rainey’s note as to how she came up with the cover idea and design…

My thought process was mostly ruling out a lot of things first. I also didn’t want to risk offending people by using explicit Nazi imagery or anything that might seem like we were making light of the history, or being too glib about it. So I started thinking of a more abstract way of representing the feeling rather than the actual events, and I came up with an infinity symbol made of barbed wire. I think it combines one of the more literal symbols of the concentration camps, and hints at the time travel aspect and the links between past, present and future that Jack’s stories are about.

I then thought that hinting at the Nazi style guide, the solid reds, whites and blacks, but with a softer red, to again hint at the concepts without being too literal with swastikas etc.

The fonts also have historical links. The black letter is obviously suggesting the Nazi style. The other font, Futura, is was part of a set of fonts that were “outlawed” by Hitler, and the designer himself was an anti-Nazi activist. It’s also the font the Americans used for the plaque they left on the moon! So another good symbol of past and future…

Order yours, here.

CENTRAL STATION by Lavie Tidhar

We’ve been blown away by the response from critics, fans, reviewers, blogs, fanzines to CENTRAL STATION, Lavie Tidhar’s latest SF masterpeice. Publishers Weekly and Library Journal both gave it starred reviews, whilst Gardner Dozois, editor of the bestselling Year’s Best Science Fiction series says “If you want to know what SF is going to look like in the next decade, this is it.”

And from Locus; “Central Station combines a cultural sensibility too long invisible in SF with a sensibility which is nothing but classic SF, and the result is a rather elegant suite of tales.”

“Some of Tidhar’s finest writing. Verdict: Come to Central Station and allow yourself to be enveloped in its embrace,” says Sci-Fi Bulletin.

But don’t just take their word for it. See for yourself. Here’s an extract:3d-central-station-slipcase

PROLOGUE

I came first to Central Station on a day in winter. African refugees sat on the green, expressionless. They were waiting, but for what, I didn’t know. Outside a butchery, two Filipino children played at being airplanes: arms spread wide they zoomed and circled, firing from imaginary under-wing machine guns. Behind the butcher’s counter, a Filipino man was hitting a ribcage with his cleaver, separating meat and bones into individual chops. A little farther from it stood the Rosh Ha’ir shawarma stand, twice blown up by suicide bombers in the past but open for business as usual. The smell of lamb fat and cumin wafted across the noisy street and made me hungry.

Traffic lights blinked green, yellow, and red. Across the road a furniture store sprawled out onto the pavement in a profusion of garish sofas and chairs. A small gaggle of junkies sat on the burnt foundations of what had been the old bus-station, chatting. I wore dark shades. The sun was high in the sky and though it was cold it was a Mediterranean winter, bright and at that moment dry.

I walked down the Neve Sha’anan pedestrian street. I found shelter in a small shebeen, a few wooden tables and chairs, a small counter serving Maccabee Beer and little else. A Nigerian man behind the counter regarded me without expression. I asked for a beer. I sat down and brought out my notebook and a pen and stared at the page.

Central Station, Tel Aviv. The present. Or a present. Another attack on Gaza, elections coming up, down south in the Arava desert they were building a massive separation wall to stop the refugees from coming in. The refugees were in Tel Aviv now, centred around the old bus station neighbourhood in the south of the city, some quarter million of them and the economic migrants here on sufferance, the Thai and Filipinos and Chinese. I sipped my beer. It was bad. I stared at the page. Rain fell.

I began to write:

Once, the world was young. The Exodus ships had only begun to leave the solar system then; the world of Heven had not been discovered; Dr. Novum had not yet come back from the stars. People still lived as they had always lived: in sun and rain, in and out of love, under a blue sky and in the Conversation, which is all about us, always.

This was in old Central Station, that vast space port which rises over the twin cityscapes of Arab Jaffa, Jewish Tel Aviv. It happened amidst the arches and the cobblestones, a stone-throw from the sea: you could still smell the salt and the tar in the air, and watch, at sunrise, the swoop and turn of solar kites and their winged surfers in the air.

This was a time of curious births, yes: you will read about that. You were no doubt wondering about the children of Central Station. Wondering, too, how a strigoi was allowed to come to Earth. This is the womb from which humanity crawled, tooth by bloody nail, towards the stars.

But it is an ancestral home, too, to the Others, those children of the digitality. In a way, this is as much their story.

There is death in here as well, of course: there always is. The Oracle is here, and Ibrahim, the alte-zachen man, and many others whose names may be familiar to you—

But you know all this already. You must have seen The Rise of Others. It’s all in there, though they made everyone look so handsome.

This all happened long ago, but we still remember; and we whisper to each other the old tales across the aeons, here in our sojourn among the stars.

It begins with a little boy, waiting for an absent father.

One day, the old stories say, a man fell down to Earth from the stars . . .