November 2012 · trade paper · 9781618730305 / ebook · 9781618730312
“Near Zennor” is a Shirley Jackson Award winner.
No one is innocent, no one unexamined in Shirley Jackson award-winning author Elizabeth Hand’s new collection of stories. From the mysterious people next door to the odd guy in the next office over, Hand teases apart the dark strangenesses of everyday life to show us the impossibilities, broken dreams, and improbable dreams that surely can never come true.
“Ten evocative novellas and stories whisper of hidden mysteries carved on the bruised consciousness of victims and victimizers. Memories and love are as dangerous as the supernatural, and Hand often denies readers neat conclusions, preferring disturbing ambiguity. The Hugo-nominated “The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon” marries science fiction and magical realism as three men recreate a legendary aircraft’s doomed flight for a dying woman. A grieving widow in “Near Zennor” unearths a secret of spectral kidnapping in an ancient countryside. “Hungerford Bridge,” a lesser piece, shares a secret that can only be enjoyed twice in one’s life. Celtic myth and human frailty entangle in the darkly romantic “The Far Shore.” The vicious nature of romantic love is dissected with expressionistic abandon in the dreamlike “Summerteeth.” Hand’s outsiders haunt themselves, the forces of darkness answering to the calls of their battered souls. Yet strange hope clings to these surreal elegies, insisting on the power of human emotion even in the shadow of despair. Elegant nightmares, sensuously told.”
Table of Contents
The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon
The Far Shore
Cruel Up North
The Return of the Fire Witch
Cover image “The Hunt in the Forest” by Paolo Uccello by permission of the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.
Praise for Elizabeth Hand’s previous short story collection Saffron and Brimstone:
“Aptly subtitled “strange stories” . . . Her beautifully nuanced, often disquieting style should inspire poets as well as lay down the gauntlet to colleagues also reaching for expressive heights in contemporary fantasy.”
“Lovely and unsettling.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
Praise for Available Dark
“In this brilliant sequel to Hand’s acclaimed literary thriller Generation Loss . . . a flash of incandescence counters final threats of death, and the all encompassing darkness is leavened by a glimmer of hope. Stunning.”
—Booklist, Starred Review
“Hand has described Cass Neary, the protagonist of 2007′s Generation Loss, as “your prototypical amoral speedfreak crankhead kleptomaniac murderous rage-filled alcoholic bisexual heavily tattooed American female photographer.” It’s to the author’s credit that Neary, who almost makes Lisbeth Salander seem like a model of mental stability, engages rather than repels in this stunning sequel.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Fiercely frightening yet hauntingly beautiful . . . shimmers with gorgeous writing even as it scares the dickens out of you. ”
—Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Girl
“A sinful pleasure.”
—Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love
Elizabeth Hand, a New York Times and Washington Post notable author, has written eleven novels including Mortal Love and four collections of short fiction. Her most recent novels are Radiant Days and Available Dark. Her thriller Generation Loss received the inaugural Shirley Jackson Award. She has also received the James Tiptree Award, the Nebula Award (twice), the World Fantasy Award (four times), and many others. Her novella, “The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon,” was recently nominated for a Hugo Award. Hand is a longtime contributor to numerous publications, including the Washington Post, Salon, L.A. Times, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and DownEast Magazine. She divides her time between the coast of Maine and North London, where she is working on the third Cass Neary thriller, Flash Burn, and a neo-gothic YA novel, Wylding Hall.