At the Edge of Waking

With In the Palace of Repose, her debut collection of mostly unpublished work, Holly Phillips accomplished the improbable. The unknown Canadian author received critical acclaim and numerous honors including the 2006 Sunburst Award and nominations for the World Fantasy and Crawford Awards. Her accomplished prose sang with a unique voice, seamlessly blending emotion, insight, and craft. Now, At the Edge of Waking presents her latest stories written in a remarkable voice colored with even more depth and range—including a new, never-published original story. Portraying human reaction to dire change or extreme circumstance, combining the real intruded upon by the fantastic or the fantastic grounded in reality, Phillips describes the world as it is, as it may be, as something impossible yet entirely acceptable, enthralling the reader with her words.

From Publishers Weekly:

“She knows what to do with shadows,” Peter S. Beagle writes with perfect accuracy in his introduction to this moody, haunting collection from fantasist Phillips. “Gin” and “Country Mothers’ Sons” depict families with dangerous secrets: alcoholism and lycanthropy. The dehumanizing realities of war and its consequences form the foundations of “Brother of the Moon” and “Virgin of the Sands.” In “The Rescue,” a young woman is imprisoned in a mental hospital as a hostage to ensure her rebellious family’s cooperation. A mild-mannered historian is saddled with the role of protecting the world’s magic in “Proving the Rule.” The most haunting stories reveal the alien and strange beneath the normal: life forms under the Antarctic ice in “Cold Water Survival,” the troubled writer of “Queen of the Butterfly Kingdom” whose muse offers another reality beyond the unkind real world, and the murky, potentially dangerous line between imagination and illusion in “Castle Rock.” Phillips’s crisp, dense writing draws readers into intimate, seductive worlds of shadow and emotion.

“An astonishing who-the-hell-is-this kind of discovery for anyone previously ignorant of her work.”—from the Introduction by Peter Beagle

“Three Days of Rain”
“Cold Water Survival”
“Brother of the Moon”
“The Rescue”
“Country Mothers’ Sons”
“Proving the Rule”
“Virgin of the Sands”
“Queen of the Butterfly Kingdom”
“The Long, Cold Goodbye”
“Castle Rock” (original to this collection)

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