“Ellen Datlow is the queen of anthology editors in America.”—Peter Straub

With original stories by Jeffrey Ford, Pat Cadigan, Elizabeth Bear, Margo Lanagan, and others

From Del Rey Books and award-winning editor Ellen Datlow, two of the most respected names in science fiction and fantasy, comes a collection of fifteen all-new short stories, plus a science fiction novella, that could count as a virtual “best of the year” anthology. Here you will find slyly twisted alternate histories, fractured fairy tales, topical science fiction, and edgy urban fantasy.

In “Daltharee,” World Fantasy Award–winning author Jeffrey Ford spins a chilling tale of a city in a bottle—and the demented genius who put it there. In “Sonny Liston Takes the Fall,” John W. Campbell Award–winning author Elizabeth Bear pens a poignant and eerie requiem for the heavyweight forever associated with his controversial loss to Cassius Clay. From hot new writer Margo Lanagan comes “The Goosle,” a dark, astonishing take on Hansel and Gretel. In the novella “Prisoners of the Action,” Paul McAuley and Kim Newman take a trip down a rabbit hole that leads to a Guantanamo-like prison whose inmates are not just illegal but extraterrestrial.

Many of the writers you’ll recognize. Others you may not. But one thing is certain: These stars of today and tomorrow demonstrate that the field of speculative fiction is not only alive and well—it’s better than ever.

PLUS TWELVE MORE STORIES

“The Elephant Ironclads” by Jason Stoddard
“Ardent Clouds” by Lucy Sussex
“Gather” by Christopher Rowe
“North American Lake Monsters” by Nathan Ballingrud
“All Washed Up While Looking for a Better World” by Carol Emshwiller
“Special Economics” by Maureen F. McHugh
“Aka St. Mark’s Place” by Richard Bowes
“Shira” by Lavie Tidhar
“The Passion of Azazel” by Barry N. Malzberg
“The Lagerstätte” by Laird Barron
“Gladiolus Exposed” by Anna Tambour
“Jimmy” by Pat Cadigan
This collection of unabridged, spectacular steampunk speculations includes several classics of the genre. These tales will sweep you away with their amazing automata, daring dirigibles, grinding gears, and scintillating steam as days long gone are infused with tech.  In “Smoke City,” by Christopher Barzak, a woman comes to terms with the loss of her family to the child labor mills of the city. A doctor tries to cope with a strange plague terrorizing the citizens of London in Jeffrey Ford’s “Dr. Lash Remembers.” In “Machine Maid,” by Margo Lanagan, a sexually repressed wife gets revenge on her husband through a robot maid. Friedrich Engels strives to spread class revolution as a labor organizer for factory cyborg matchstick girls in Arbeitskraft, by Nick Mamatas.  In “Ninety Thousand Horses,” by Sean McMullen, an acclaimed mathematician, with a murky past, is forced to spy for an industrialist prior to becoming Britain’s foremost rocket expert during World War II. An orphan boy builds an automaton, in an aging scientist’s laboratory, that becomes more than an idle companion in Cherie Priest’s “Tanglefoot (A Clockwork Century Story).” In “Clockwork Fairies,” by Cat Rambo, an English aristocrat courts a woman who would rather  spend her time in a laboratory than at high society balls. At Chicago’s Columbian Exposition, in 1893, an Algerian bodyguard crosses paths with a disoriented naked man in Chris Roberson’s “Edison’s Frankenstein.”. In “A Serpent in the Gears,” by Margaret Ronald, a dirigible journeys to an isolated land and discovers people and animals merged with machine parts. Radio Jones finds a way to listen in on the Naked Brains, who rule the world, while Rudy the Red fights against the oppressors in “Zeppelin City,” by Michael Swanwick& Eileen Gunn. 
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