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A ward-winning writer and editor Al Sarrantonio gathers together twenty-nine original stories from masters of the macabre. From dark fantasy and pure suspense to classic horror tales of vampires and zombies, 999 showcases the extraordinary scope of fantastical fright fiction. The stories in this anthology are a relentless tour de force of fear, which will haunt you, terrify you, and keep the adrenaline rushing all through the night.
In his introduction to this anthology, Al Sarrantonio compares it to the ground-breaking anthologies in the Dangerous Visions series edited by Harlan Ellison in the late sixties and early seventies. He has certainly persuaded most of those currently at the top of the sf field to submit original stories. Ursula K. Le Guin, Dan Simmons, Michael Swanwick, and many other luminaries grace this collection. Whether it quite rises to the level of the Ellison will be for you to judge.
"The joy of fiction is the joy of the imagination. . . ." The best stories pull readers in and keep them turning the pages, eager to discover more-to find the answer to the question: "And then what happened?" The true hallmark of great literature is great imagination, and as Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio prove with this outstanding collection, when it comes to great fiction, all genres are equal. Stories is a groundbreaking anthology that reinvigorates, expands, and redefines the limits of imaginative fiction and affords some of the best writers in the world-from Peter Straub and Chuck Palahniuk to Roddy Doyle and Diana Wynne Jones, Stewart O'Nan and Joyce Carol Oates to Walter Mosley and Jodi Picoult-the opportunity to work together, defend their craft, and realign misconceptions. Gaiman, a literary magician whose acclaimed work defies easy categorization and transcends all boundaries, and "master anthologist" (Booklist) Sarrantonio personally invited, read, and selected all the stories in this collection, and their standard for this "new literature of the imagination" is high. "We wanted to read stories that used a lightning-flash of magic as a way of showing us something we have already seen a thousand times as if we have never seen it at all." Joe Hill boldly aligns theme and form in his disturbing tale of a man's descent into evil in "Devil on the Staircase." In "Catch and Release," Lawrence Block tells of a seasoned fisherman with a talent for catching a bite of another sort. Carolyn Parkhurst adds a dark twist to sibling rivalry in "Unwell." Joanne Harris weaves a tale of ancient gods in modern New York in "Wildfire in Manhattan." Vengeance is the heart of Richard Adams's "The Knife." Jeffery Deaver introduces a dedicated psychologist whose mission in life is to save people in "The Therapist." A chilling punishment befitting an unspeakable crime is at the dark heart of Neil Gaiman's novelette "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains." As it transforms your view of the world, this brilliant and visionary volume-sure to become a classic-will ignite a new appreciation for the limitless realm of exceptional fiction.
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