Bone Swans: Stories

Mythic Delirium Books
3
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Winner of the 2016 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection

Contains "The Bone Swans of Amandale," 2015 Nebula Award finalist for Best Novella

2015 Locus Recommended Reading List, Best Collection and Best Novella

"C. S. E. Cooney is one of the most moving, daring, and plainly beautiful voices to come out of recent fantasy. She's a powerhouse with a wink in her eye and a song in each pocket."
—Catherynne M. Valente, New York Times-bestselling author of the Fairyland novels

"These stories are a pure joy. C. S. E. Cooney's imagination is wild and varied, her stories bawdy, horrific, comic, and moving-frequently all at the same time. Her characters are wickedly appealing, and her language—O! her language. Lush, playful, poetic, but never obscure or stilted, it makes her magic more magic, her comedy more comic, and her tragic moments almost unbearable."
—Delia Sherman, author of Young Woman in a Garden: Stories

"Bone Swans is a joy of feathery bones & ghoulish clowns. I adored every word. Like an eyas cries for meat, I cry for more. C.S.E. Cooney's a major talent and these are major talent stories. Who can resist hero rats, pouting swans, feral children, flying carpets and the Flabberghast? So tongue-tied am I with delight I fall back on the usual cliches: gripping, delightful, insightful, rollicking & lyrical—and yet not one cliche is to be found in Bone Swans, only stories of surpassing delicacy and wit, told by a lady of rare talent. Please, ma'am, might I have some more?"
—Ysabeau S. Wilce, Andre Norton Award wining author of Flora's Dare

A swan princess hunted for her bones, a broken musician and his silver pipe, and a rat named Maurice bring justice to a town under fell enchantment. A gang of courageous kids confronts both a plague-destroyed world and an afterlife infested with clowns but robbed of laughter. In an island city, the murder of a child unites two lovers, but vengeance will part them. Only human sacrifice will save a city trapped in ice and darkness. Gold spun out of straw has a price, but not the one you expect.

World Fantasy Award winner Ellen Kushner has called Cooney's writing "stunningly delicious! Cruel, beautiful and irresistible." Bone Swans, the infernally whimsical debut collection from C. S. E. Cooney, gathers five novellas that in the words of Andre Norton Award winner Delia Sherman are "bawdy, horrific, comic, and moving-frequently all at the same time." Cooney's mentor, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master Gene Wolfe, proclaims in his introduction that her style is so original it can only be described as "pure Cooney," and he offers readers a challenge: "Try to define that when you've finished the stories in this book."

More praise for Bone Swans

"Cooney's brilliantly executed collection of five stories is a delicious stew of science fiction, horror, and fantasy, marked by unforgettable characters who plumb the depths of pathos and triumph. ... All of these stories could easily serve as the foundation for novels while also working beautifully at their current length. These well-crafted narratives defiantly refuse to fade from memory long after the last word has been read." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"In five beautifully crafted stories, Cooney builds imaginary worlds full of flying carpets, fairy-tale characters, and children confronted with a postapocalyptic Earth ... Each tale packs in enough plot for a novel, with adventurous characters who brim with wit." —Library Journal, starred review

"Writing without ostentation and featuring characters who may be flippant, terse, or even tongue-tied, Cooney produces memorable prose propelled by extraordinary ideas ... Faced with such twisted genius, I'll say no more!" —Locus

"A fascinating mashup between the tropes and resonances of the mythic tale with the sensibilities of contemporary action-oriented fantasy: simultaneously lighthearted and serious, full of consequences but also ubiquitous happy endings." —Tor.com

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About the author

C.S.E. Cooney is a Rhode Island writer who lives across the street from a Victorian Strolling Park. She is the author of How To Flirt in Faerieland and Other Wild Rhymes and Jack o' the Hills. She won the 2011 Rhysling Award for her story-poem "The Sea King's Second Bride." Publishers Weekly gave her first short fiction collection Bone Swans a starred review, calling it "brilliantly executed...delicious stew of science fiction, horror, and fantasy, marked by unforgettable characters who plumb the depths of pathos and triumph."

Other examples of her short fiction and poetry can be found in Rich Horton's Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy (2011, 2012, 2014), The Nebula Awards Showcase (2013), The Mammoth Book of Steampunk Adventures (2014), The Moment of Change, Black Gate, Apex, Subterranean, Strange Horizons, Ideomancer, Clockwork Phoenix, Steam-Powered II, The Book of Dead Things, Cabinet des Fées, Stone Telling, Goblin Fruit, and Mythic Delirium.

Her website can be found at http://csecooney.com/

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Additional Information

Publisher
Mythic Delirium Books
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Published on
Jul 1, 2015
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Pages
224
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
Fiction / Fantasy / Collections & Anthologies
Fiction / Fantasy / Contemporary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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• 2017 World Fantasy Award finalist for Best Anthology
• Contains “The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me” by Rachael K. Jones, 2017 World Fantasy Award finalist for Best Short Fiction
• Contains “Sabbath Wine” by Barbara Krasnoff, 2016 Nebula Award finalist for Best Short Story
• 2016 Locus Recommended Reading List, Best Anthology

“Allen’s strange and lovely fifth genre-melding fantasy anthology selects 20 new short stories of unusual variety, texture, compassion, and perception. . . . All the stories afford thought-provoking glimpses into alternative realities that linger, sparking unconventional thoughts, long after they are first encountered.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The arrangement is superb. This anthology of 20 stories can resemble a symphony of themes and variations in a wide range of keys, or a tapestry whose elements form patterns of imagery and meaning that shift and offer new insights throughout the book.”
—Locus

The Clockwork Phoenix anthologies offer homes to “well-written stories occupying multiple subgenres, usually in the same story, often ambiguously,” as Locus Magazine once put it.

The ground-breaking, boundary-pushing, award-nominated series has returned for a fifth incarnation, triumphantly risen from the ashes after another successful Kickstarter campaign. This is the largest installment yet, holding twenty new tales of beauty and strangeness.

With original fiction from Jason Kimble, Rachael K. Jones, Patricia Russo, Marie Brennan, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Rob Cameron, A. C. Wise, Gray Rinehart, Sam Fleming, Sunil Patel, C. S. E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez, Holly Heisey, Barbara Krasnoff, Sonya Taaffe, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Shveta Thakrar, Cassandra Khaw, Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Rich Larson, and Beth Cato. Cover art by Paula Arwen Owen.

“And then there is that secret restaurant . . . It is perfection on a plate! And you feel better about yourself and your life and the world every time you go there. Clockwork Phoenix is the name of this restaurant, and Mike Allen is the restaurateur. One sublime dish after another, and yet I still have my favorites that I keep coming back to.”
—Little Red Reviewer

Table of contents:

“The Wind at His Back” by Jason Kimble
“The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me” by Rachael K. Jones
“The Perfect Happy Family” by Patricia Russo
“The Mirror-City” by Marie Brennan
“The Finch’s Wedding and the Hive That Sings” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
“Squeeze” by Rob Cameron
“A Guide to Birds by Song (After Death)” by A.C. Wise
“The Sorcerer of Etah” by Gray Rinehart
“The Prime Importance of a Happy Number” by Sam Fleming
“Social Visiting” by Sunil Patel
“The Book of May” by C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez
“The Tiger’s Silent Roar” by Holly Heisey
“Sabbath Wine” by Barbara Krasnoff
“The Trinitite Golem” by Sonya Taaffe
“Two Bright Venuses” by Alex Dally MacFarlane
“By Thread of Night and Starlight Needle” by Shveta Thakrar
“The Games We Play” by Cassandra Khaw
“The Road, and the Valley, and the Beasts” by Keffy R.M. Kehrli
“Innumerable Glimmering Lights” by Rich Larson
“The Souls of Horses” by Beth Cato
“Mike Allen will infect your subconscious with hallucinatory and alarming delight. This book is a must-read for fans of weird fiction and dark fantasy.”
—Helen Marshall, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Gifts for the One who Comes After

The Spider Tapestries, Mike Allen’s sophomore short story collection, takes a wrecking ball to genre boundaries, showcasing seven stories that mix transhuman noir, Lovecraftian horror, and surrealistic sorcery in an exploration of the further reaches of the Weird. Readers who savored the disorienting strangeness in Allen’s debut collection Unseaming, a Shirley Jackson Award finalist and Amazon.com horror fiction bestseller, will find The Spider Tapestries begins where Unseaming left off.

As Nicole Kornher-Stace, author of Archivist Wasp, explains in her introduction, “Allen outdoes himself even further, borrowing and synthesizing across genres with gleeful abandon....This results in stories like ‘Twa Sisters,’ with an atmosphere and setting as if Heironymous Bosch had been brought in as a consultant on Blade Runner. Or ‘Sleepless, Burning Life,’ which, with simultaneous nods to steampunk and metaphysics, explores and upends the familiar trope of Mortal Chosen by the Gods.”

More praise for The Spider Tapestries
“Elegant language and surrealistic themes defy genre and moral expectations in the weird and transgressive stories found in this collection... Allen’s pairing of individualistic suffering and cosmic hugeness evokes a lyrical friction between dread and wonder.”
­— Publishers Weekly

“The seven stories in this slim collection range from dark fantasy to sf to horror—sometimes all within one tale. There are enough spiders here to make an arachnophobe go into hysterics, but they are not the only ones spinning webs ... Allen weaves intriguing connections among his tales, applying dizzying, sensual images.”
­— Library Journal

“The aptly named Spider Tapestries forms a stunning picture that is equal parts darkness and light . . . a whirlwind tour through worlds of decadent fantasy, noir-touched future-weird, and elegant horror. Mike Allen offers up intricate mythologies that feel real and lived in, rich-detailed stories for readers to immerse themselves in, and from which they will emerge changed. The stories feel epic in scope, from an assassin climbing through the clockwork gears of the world to rescue a goddess in a cage, to an AI moving through bodies and networks to gather up and reassemble the pieces of his lost love. Allen takes readers on a journey through years and worlds, all in the space of a few pages.”
—A.C. Wise, author of The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again

“There was a time before the marketplace sliced our wild fantastic literature into bite sized chunks, a time when visions could be astounding, amazing, and weird all at once, a time when Clark Ashton Smith could mainline a Thousand and One Nights into million-colored suns. Now comes Mike Allen, shredding raw that scar-woven shroud between then, now, and infinity, releasing hallucinatory torrents of jewel-encrusted erotic transhumanism with the intensity of a quasar and stripping bare the secret wheels and cogs of the universe beside those lovers who would destroy them.”
—Scott Nicolay, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Do You Like to Look at Monsters?

“Mike Allen, among the most dynamic of contemporary fantasists, habitually upends Lovecraftian tropes with his own brand of cosmic horror.”
—Laird Barron, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of X’s for Eyes

The third volume in the ground-breaking, genre-bending, boundary-pushing CLOCKWORK PHOENIX anthology series, now available in digital format.

Includes critically-acclaimed and award-nominated stories by Marie Brennan, Tori Truslow, Georgina Bruce, Michael M. Jones, Gemma Files, C.S.E. Cooney, Cat Rambo, Gregory Frost, Shweta Narayan, S.J. Hirons, John Grant, Kenneth Schneyer, John C. Wright, Nicole Kornher-Stace and Tanith Lee.

With a whimsical introduction and new afterword by Nebula Award-nominated editor Mike Allen.
CONTENTS

The Gospel of Nachash • Marie Brennan
Tomorrow Is Saint Valentine's Day • Tori Truslow
Crow Voodoo • Georgina Bruce
Your Name Is Eve • Michael M. Jones
Hell Friend • Gemma Files
Braiding the Ghosts • C.S.E. Cooney
Surrogates • Cat Rambo
Lucyna's Gaze • Gregory Frost
Eyes of Carven Emerald • Shweta Narayan
Dragons of America • S.J. Hirons
Where Shadows Go at Low Midnight • John Grant
Lineage • Kenneth Schneyer
Murder in Metachronopolis • John C. Wright
To Seek Her Fortune • Nicole Kornher-Stace
Fold • Tanith Lee

Praise for CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 3 . . . .

Allen’s third volume of extraordinary short stories reaches new heights of rarity and wonder. Marie Brennan sets the bar high with “The Gospel of Nachash,” a fine reinterpretation of the Adam and Eve legend from a fresh perspective. Tori Truslow’s scholarly “Tomorrow Is Saint Valentine’s Day” tells the story of the Great Ice Train and its encounter with the merfolk on the Moon. Gemma Files’s “Hell Friend” and C.S.E. Cooney’s “Braiding the Ghosts” are sinister, spine-tingling ghost stories. Cat Rambo deals with realism and escapism in her futuristic “Surrogates,” where appearances and reality are mutable. Shweta Narayan’s “Eyes of Carven Emerald” eloquently rewrites the history of Alexander the Great to include mechanical entities. Without a wrong note, all the stories in this anthology admirably fulfill Allen’s promise of “beauty and strangeness.”
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

With a balance of new names and established authors, the third Clockwork Phoenix installment collects some magnificent interpretations of fantastic ideas. “The Gospel of Nachash” opens, Marie Brennan’s haunting tale of the beginning of time, and a very interesting reinterpretation of a gospel it is, too. Tanith Lee’s “Fold” is a story of a man who wrote love letters to the people he saw passing beneath his window, and only left his apartment once. Gemma Files’ “Hell Friend” is really a heart-warming ghost story; Georgina Bruce’s “Crow Voodoo” is an unnerving take on something common to fairy tales; and Gregory Frost’s “Lucyna’s Gaze” starts off sweet, and grows more awful with every revealed detail. Clockwork Phoenix delivers on its promise of both beauty and strangeness, and adds in some fright and a few new ways of looking at old tropes. All in all, it’s a very successful collection of thematically similar, but wildly varied in subject, works.
— Booklist

CLOCKWORK PHOENIX is a series of anthologies from Norilana Books, edited by Mike Allen, that bears the subtitle “New Tales of Beauty and Strangeness”. This seems a quite appropriate subtitle — the stories really do seem attempts at evoking both beauty and the strange. This makes them consistently interesting . . . There is a mixture of wild science fiction (as with John C. Wright’s “Murder in Metachronopolis”, a convoluted time travel mystery) with what seems best called slipstream (say, Tanith Lee’s curious “Fold”, about a man who sends people paper airplane love letters) with out and out fantasy. One of the latter is my favorite here: C. S. E. Cooney’s “Braiding the Ghosts”, in which a girl goes to her grandmother after her mother’s death, and learns from the older woman the secret of “braiding” ghosts — which is to say enslaving them. So ghosts are the servants of the older woman. But the girl is not so happy with this . . . especially when she falls for the ghost she is forced to braid. And the ghosts — are they happy? Read the story and find out . . . lovely stuff.
— Locus

For the past three years editor Mike Allen has been publishing his unique CLOCKWORK PHOENIX anthologies, inviting authors like Tanith Lee and Catherynne M. Valente to give us their take on the concepts of, as the title has it, “beauty and strangeness.” The result has been a critical and artistic success and, if volume three is any indication, the spell won’t be lifting any time soon. Allen continues to assemble some of the most adventurous, beauteous, and just plain weird stuff our current crop of speculative authors are capable of producing. Adventurous minds are invited to attend.
— Strange Horizons 


FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BookPage • BuzzFeed • Chicago Tribune • Kirkus Reviews • NPR • San Francisco Chronicle • Slate • Toronto Star • The Washington Post

She has been hailed by Michael Chabon as “the most darkly playful voice in American fiction” and by Neil Gaiman as “a national treasure.” Now Kelly Link’s eagerly awaited new collection—her first for adult readers in a decade—proves indelibly that this bewitchingly original writer is among the finest we have.

Link has won an ardent following for her ability, with each new short story, to take readers deeply into an unforgettable, brilliantly constructed fictional universe. The nine exquisite examples in this collection show her in full command of her formidable powers. In “The Summer People,” a young girl in rural North Carolina serves as uneasy caretaker to the mysterious, never-quite-glimpsed visitors who inhabit the cottage behind her house. In “I Can See Right Through You,” a middle-aged movie star makes a disturbing trip to the Florida swamp where his former on- and off-screen love interest is shooting a ghost-hunting reality show. In “The New Boyfriend,” a suburban slumber party takes an unusual turn, and a teenage friendship is tested, when the spoiled birthday girl opens her big present: a life-size animated doll.

Hurricanes, astronauts, evil twins, bootleggers, Ouija boards, iguanas, The Wizard of Oz, superheroes, the Pyramids . . . These are just some of the talismans of an imagination as capacious and as full of wonder as that of any writer today. But as fantastical as these stories can be, they are always grounded by sly humor and an innate generosity of feeling for the frailty—and the hidden strengths—of human beings. In Get in Trouble, this one-of-a-kind talent expands the boundaries of what short fiction can do.

Praise for Get in Trouble

“Ridiculously brilliant . . . These stories make you laugh while staring into the void.”—The Boston Globe

“When it comes to literary magic, Link is the real deal: clever, surprising, affecting, fluid and funny.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“With every tale [Link] conjures a different universe, each more captivating than the last. . . . You’ll long to return the minute you leave. [Grade:] A.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Marvelous . . . As a writer Kelly Link is possessed of many magical powers, but to me what’s most notable about [Get in Trouble] is its astonishing freedom.”—Meg Wolitzer, NPR

“Sensational . . . Remain in your narrative comfort zone, or venture into Link’s uncharted sea of troubles. Come on. Live a little.”—O: The Oprah Magazine

“This is art that re-enchants the world. Who needs tediously believable situations, O. Henry endings or even truthfulness to life? Give us magic; give us wonder.”—The Washington Post

“The stories here are effective because we believe them—not just their situations but also their hearts.”—Los Angeles Times

“A zero-gravity vacation in a dust jacket.”—Chicago Tribune


From the Hardcover edition.
• 2017 World Fantasy Award finalist for Best Anthology
• Contains “The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me” by Rachael K. Jones, 2017 World Fantasy Award finalist for Best Short Fiction
• Contains “Sabbath Wine” by Barbara Krasnoff, 2016 Nebula Award finalist for Best Short Story
• 2016 Locus Recommended Reading List, Best Anthology

“Allen’s strange and lovely fifth genre-melding fantasy anthology selects 20 new short stories of unusual variety, texture, compassion, and perception. . . . All the stories afford thought-provoking glimpses into alternative realities that linger, sparking unconventional thoughts, long after they are first encountered.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The arrangement is superb. This anthology of 20 stories can resemble a symphony of themes and variations in a wide range of keys, or a tapestry whose elements form patterns of imagery and meaning that shift and offer new insights throughout the book.”
—Locus

The Clockwork Phoenix anthologies offer homes to “well-written stories occupying multiple subgenres, usually in the same story, often ambiguously,” as Locus Magazine once put it.

The ground-breaking, boundary-pushing, award-nominated series has returned for a fifth incarnation, triumphantly risen from the ashes after another successful Kickstarter campaign. This is the largest installment yet, holding twenty new tales of beauty and strangeness.

With original fiction from Jason Kimble, Rachael K. Jones, Patricia Russo, Marie Brennan, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Rob Cameron, A. C. Wise, Gray Rinehart, Sam Fleming, Sunil Patel, C. S. E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez, Holly Heisey, Barbara Krasnoff, Sonya Taaffe, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Shveta Thakrar, Cassandra Khaw, Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Rich Larson, and Beth Cato. Cover art by Paula Arwen Owen.

“And then there is that secret restaurant . . . It is perfection on a plate! And you feel better about yourself and your life and the world every time you go there. Clockwork Phoenix is the name of this restaurant, and Mike Allen is the restaurateur. One sublime dish after another, and yet I still have my favorites that I keep coming back to.”
—Little Red Reviewer

Table of contents:

“The Wind at His Back” by Jason Kimble
“The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me” by Rachael K. Jones
“The Perfect Happy Family” by Patricia Russo
“The Mirror-City” by Marie Brennan
“The Finch’s Wedding and the Hive That Sings” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
“Squeeze” by Rob Cameron
“A Guide to Birds by Song (After Death)” by A.C. Wise
“The Sorcerer of Etah” by Gray Rinehart
“The Prime Importance of a Happy Number” by Sam Fleming
“Social Visiting” by Sunil Patel
“The Book of May” by C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez
“The Tiger’s Silent Roar” by Holly Heisey
“Sabbath Wine” by Barbara Krasnoff
“The Trinitite Golem” by Sonya Taaffe
“Two Bright Venuses” by Alex Dally MacFarlane
“By Thread of Night and Starlight Needle” by Shveta Thakrar
“The Games We Play” by Cassandra Khaw
“The Road, and the Valley, and the Beasts” by Keffy R.M. Kehrli
“Innumerable Glimmering Lights” by Rich Larson
“The Souls of Horses” by Beth Cato

The third volume in the ground-breaking, genre-bending, boundary-pushing CLOCKWORK PHOENIX anthology series, now available in digital format.

Includes critically-acclaimed and award-nominated stories by Marie Brennan, Tori Truslow, Georgina Bruce, Michael M. Jones, Gemma Files, C.S.E. Cooney, Cat Rambo, Gregory Frost, Shweta Narayan, S.J. Hirons, John Grant, Kenneth Schneyer, John C. Wright, Nicole Kornher-Stace and Tanith Lee.

With a whimsical introduction and new afterword by Nebula Award-nominated editor Mike Allen.
CONTENTS

The Gospel of Nachash • Marie Brennan
Tomorrow Is Saint Valentine's Day • Tori Truslow
Crow Voodoo • Georgina Bruce
Your Name Is Eve • Michael M. Jones
Hell Friend • Gemma Files
Braiding the Ghosts • C.S.E. Cooney
Surrogates • Cat Rambo
Lucyna's Gaze • Gregory Frost
Eyes of Carven Emerald • Shweta Narayan
Dragons of America • S.J. Hirons
Where Shadows Go at Low Midnight • John Grant
Lineage • Kenneth Schneyer
Murder in Metachronopolis • John C. Wright
To Seek Her Fortune • Nicole Kornher-Stace
Fold • Tanith Lee

Praise for CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 3 . . . .

Allen’s third volume of extraordinary short stories reaches new heights of rarity and wonder. Marie Brennan sets the bar high with “The Gospel of Nachash,” a fine reinterpretation of the Adam and Eve legend from a fresh perspective. Tori Truslow’s scholarly “Tomorrow Is Saint Valentine’s Day” tells the story of the Great Ice Train and its encounter with the merfolk on the Moon. Gemma Files’s “Hell Friend” and C.S.E. Cooney’s “Braiding the Ghosts” are sinister, spine-tingling ghost stories. Cat Rambo deals with realism and escapism in her futuristic “Surrogates,” where appearances and reality are mutable. Shweta Narayan’s “Eyes of Carven Emerald” eloquently rewrites the history of Alexander the Great to include mechanical entities. Without a wrong note, all the stories in this anthology admirably fulfill Allen’s promise of “beauty and strangeness.”
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

With a balance of new names and established authors, the third Clockwork Phoenix installment collects some magnificent interpretations of fantastic ideas. “The Gospel of Nachash” opens, Marie Brennan’s haunting tale of the beginning of time, and a very interesting reinterpretation of a gospel it is, too. Tanith Lee’s “Fold” is a story of a man who wrote love letters to the people he saw passing beneath his window, and only left his apartment once. Gemma Files’ “Hell Friend” is really a heart-warming ghost story; Georgina Bruce’s “Crow Voodoo” is an unnerving take on something common to fairy tales; and Gregory Frost’s “Lucyna’s Gaze” starts off sweet, and grows more awful with every revealed detail. Clockwork Phoenix delivers on its promise of both beauty and strangeness, and adds in some fright and a few new ways of looking at old tropes. All in all, it’s a very successful collection of thematically similar, but wildly varied in subject, works.
— Booklist

CLOCKWORK PHOENIX is a series of anthologies from Norilana Books, edited by Mike Allen, that bears the subtitle “New Tales of Beauty and Strangeness”. This seems a quite appropriate subtitle — the stories really do seem attempts at evoking both beauty and the strange. This makes them consistently interesting . . . There is a mixture of wild science fiction (as with John C. Wright’s “Murder in Metachronopolis”, a convoluted time travel mystery) with what seems best called slipstream (say, Tanith Lee’s curious “Fold”, about a man who sends people paper airplane love letters) with out and out fantasy. One of the latter is my favorite here: C. S. E. Cooney’s “Braiding the Ghosts”, in which a girl goes to her grandmother after her mother’s death, and learns from the older woman the secret of “braiding” ghosts — which is to say enslaving them. So ghosts are the servants of the older woman. But the girl is not so happy with this . . . especially when she falls for the ghost she is forced to braid. And the ghosts — are they happy? Read the story and find out . . . lovely stuff.
— Locus

For the past three years editor Mike Allen has been publishing his unique CLOCKWORK PHOENIX anthologies, inviting authors like Tanith Lee and Catherynne M. Valente to give us their take on the concepts of, as the title has it, “beauty and strangeness.” The result has been a critical and artistic success and, if volume three is any indication, the spell won’t be lifting any time soon. Allen continues to assemble some of the most adventurous, beauteous, and just plain weird stuff our current crop of speculative authors are capable of producing. Adventurous minds are invited to attend.
— Strange Horizons 


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