Strange Tales - Volume IStrange Tales - Volume I
edited by Rosalie Parker

World Fantasy Award winner, 2004

Deluxe Edition - $45.00
Fine in fine dj; new and unread, direct from the publisher

Tartarus Press, 2003; 289 pp.; limited to 300 hardcover copies; 2nd Printing

Stories by: Quentin S. Crisp, Anne-Sylvie Salzman, David Rix, Brendan Connell, Rhys Hughes, Mark Valentine & John Howard, Adam Daly, William Charlton, Dale Nelson, Tina Rath, Nina Allan, Len Maynard & Mick Sims, John Gaskin, Don Tumasonis.

This collection of fourteen new stories, representing the very best writing in the fields of supernatural, fantasy and horror fiction, will entertain, chill and delight in equal measure. Strange Tales was the recipient this year of the World Fantasy Award for the best anthology.

The stories are immersed in both traditional themes and twenty-first century anxieties, and range from the melancholy, folk-tale fantasy of Anne-Sylvie Salzman's 'Meannanaich', to the pleasing mystery of Mark Valentine and John Howard's 'The Descent of the Fire'; from the seductive horror of Quentin S. Crisp's 'Cousin X', to the visceral terror of Adam Daly's 'The Self-Eater'; from the devastating psychological disintegration of David Rix's 'Number 18', to the gradual emotional disarray of Nina Allan's 'Terminus'.

There are ghosts too; an achingly beautiful, Classically Greek one in John Gaskin's 'From Lydia with Love and Laughter'; and the merest fang-trace of vampirism in William Charlton's 'The Grand Hotel'. Dale Nelson's subtly masterful 'Shelter Belt' is haunted by a presence that may or may not materialise.

In 'Eye of the Storm' Don Tumasonis imbues a semi-autobiographical memoir with a troubling undercurrent of unease, whilst in Brendan Connell's 'Maker of Fine Instruments', and Maynard and Sims's 'Between the Dead Men and the Blind', the horror is more up-front: the former a kind of warped, Grimm-like morality fable, the latter a modern portrait of sick despair.

Fans of Rhys Hughes will delight in the post-modern pyrotechnics of 'The Itchy Skin of Creepy Aplomb', and for the more historically minded, Tina Rath's tour-de-force 'Mr Manpferdit' brilliantly evokes the eighteenth-century London (and the secret desires) of Boswell and Dr Johnson.

To read The Descent of the Fire from Strange Tales right-click with your mouse on the title and choose "Save target as". You can then decide where to download the story onto your computer. You will need Adobe Acrobat to be able to view the story.

Reviews:
"Few of the contributions to Rosalie Parker's beautifully presented collection of new short stories fail to unsettle or disturb, and yet, as a whole, the volume's success can be attributed to the sheer variety of tone, effect and subject matter." - Dara Downey, The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies

"Taken as a whole, Strange Tales is one of the best original anthologies of recent years." - David Longhorn, Supernatural Tales

"A most impressive feature of the collection is the eclectic variety of style and content, and the way in which the various tales forge themselves into a collective exploration of 'strangeness' that is most disconcerting. As such, it fulfils the true purpose of an anthology: not simply a mix of interesting pieces, but a cohesive whole infused with a unifying vision, something greater than the sum of the total parts. Quite apart from the intrinsic merits of the stories, this book is, as much as anything, a triumph of editing by Rosalie Parker. . . This excellent volume is presented with all the quality one has come to expect from Tartarus." - Peter Bell, All Hallows

"At the end of this entertaining anthology the reader is left not only with the pleasant sensation that his time and his money have not been wasted, but with the reassuring discovery that weird horror fiction is alive and well and that, due to a number of emerging new talents, the future of the genre appears to be bright." - Mario Guslandi, Infinity Plus.

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