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Daniel is trapped in Ubo. He has no idea how long he has been imprisoned there by the roaches.

Every resident has a similar memory of the journey: a dream of dry, chitinous wings crossing the moon, the gigantic insects dropping swiftly over the houses; the creatures, like a deck of baroquely ornamented cards, fanning themselves from one hidden world into the next.

And now each day they force Daniel to play a different figure from humanity’s violent history, from a frenzied Jack the Ripper to a stumbling and confused Stalin, to a self-proclaimed god executing survivors atop the ruins of the world. As skies burn and prisoners go mad, identities dissolve as the experiments evolve, and no one can foretell their mysterious end.

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About the author

Steve Rasnic Tem is an author, artist, and poet. His works have earned him numerous international literary awards, including the World Fantasy award. He is frequently compared to Ray Bradbury, Raymond Carver, and Franz Kafka.

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Additional Information

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Published on
Feb 9, 2017
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Fiction / Horror
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Eligible for Family Library

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The second 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 Claude Lalumière, Leah Bobet, Marie Brennan, Ian McHugh, Ann Leckie, Mary Robinette Kowal, Saladin Ahmed, Tanith Lee, Joanna Galbraith, Catherynne M. Valente, Forrest Aguirre, Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer, Kelly Barnhill, Barbara Krasnoff and Steve Rasnic Tem.

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

"Sixteen unique voices that manage nevertheless to harmonize into a sort of choir of the uncanny singing in the key of beauty and strangeness ... Mike Allen has conducted it masterfully. I highly recommend it, and look forward with great anticipation to CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 3."
— SF Site


Three Friends • Claude Lalumière
Six • Leah Bobet
Once a Goddess • Marie Brennan
Angel Dust • Ian McHugh
The Endangered Camp • Ann Leckie
At the Edge of Dying • Mary Robinette Kowal
Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela • Saladin Ahmed
The Pain of Glass: A Tale of the Flat Earth • Tanith Lee
The Fish of Al-Kawthar's Fountain • Joanna Galbraith
The Secret History of Mirrors • Catherynne M. Valente
Never nor Ever • Forrest Aguirre
each thing i show you is a piece of my death • Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer
Open the Door and the Light Pours Through • Kelly Barnhill
Rosemary, That's For Remembrance • Barbara Krasnoff
When We Moved On • Steve Rasnic Tem 

Praise for CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 2 . . . .

Allen finds his groove for this second annual anthology of weird stories, selecting 16 wonderfully evocative, well-written tales. Marie Brennan’s thought-provoking “Once a Goddess” considers the fate of a goddess abruptly returned to mortality. Tanith Lee puts a stunning twist in the story of a morose prince in “The Pain of Glass.” Mary Robinette Kowal’s “At the Edge of Dying” describes a world where magic comes only to those at death’s door. In “Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela,” Saladin Ahmed tells of a small village on the edge of a desert, a hermit and a woman who may be a witch. Each story fits neatly alongside the next, and the diversity of topics, perspectives and authors makes this cosmopolitan anthology a winner.
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

In this anthology of 15 original tales by some of fantasy’s most imaginative voices, Tanith Lee returns to her remarkable Flat Earth setting for a poignant and cutting tale of love, fate, and misfortune in “The Pain of Glass.” Other contributors include veteran and newer writers Forrest Aguirre, Steve Rasnic Tem, Joanna Galbraith, Saladin Ahmed, and others, each chosen for their unique perspective and stylistic grace. VERDICT: This second volume in a new annual anthology series will appeal to fantasy readers who enjoy short stories.
— Library Journal

CLOCKWORK PHOENIX is the most experimental and often the most interesting of the impressive stable of four anthologies published by Norilana. The second outing has a lot of strong work, including a nice ultra-romantic tale of a woman of glass by Tanith Lee (“The Pain of Glass”), a moving fairly traditional ghost story from Kelly Barnhill (“Open the Door and the Light Pours Through”), and a story I frankly didn’t think I’d like, but which seduced me, Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer’s “each thing i show you is a piece of my death,” about experimental film makers creating a sort of collage film, including what seems a very old clip of a man committing suicide. It’s queasy-making, odd, yet compelling. My favorite story is Ann Leckie’s “The Endangered Camp,” which she says resulted from a sort of challenge to combine dinosaurs, post-apocalyptic fiction, and Mars — and does so beautifully as the crew of the first spaceship to Mars witnesses the asteroid striking Earth and wonders what to do.
— Locus 

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