The gripping final volume of the Well-Built City Trilogy The ruins of the Well-Built City and the village of Wenau are not all the world has to offer--there is also the Beyond, a dark land between life and death, populated by flying demons, restless ghosts, invisible terrors, and ravenous trees. Cast out by the people of Wenau after finding a cure for their sickness, former physiognomist Cley sets out to brave the dark mountains and seas of the Beyond in order to find the woman he doomed on his quest to destroy the Well-Built City. As Cley journeys deeper into the unknown, he is accompanied by an invisible companion--the demon Misrix, who is searching for his own humanity. The final episode in Jeffrey Ford's Kafkaesque Well-Built City Trilogy, The Beyond fleshes out Ford's world further than ever before.
Author Jeffrey Ford's World Fantasy Award- winning novel, The Physiognomy, introduced Cley, master of a twisted and terrifying science utilized to keep order in a nightmare city. In the brilliantly audacious Memoranda, the reformed physiognomist embarked on a surreal quest through the mind of the monster who imagined and constructed the dark metropolis. Now the third and final chapter of Cley's strange life journey dispatches him to the inconceivable ends of his world--and strands him in the perilous heart of a sentient wilderness. One creature still lives in the dust and rubble of Master Drachton Below's destroyed Well-Built City: Misrix, Below's demon "son," refined and civilized by his father's loving curse of humanity. With the comforting aid of Sheer Beauty, the altered being fights his loneliness by recording the adventures of a hunter who wanders with a dog named Wood through a breathtaking wild at the realm's farthest extremities. Cley is a man who has witnessed miracles, and both he and his world have been changed by them. But remnants of his grim past still haunt the former Physiognomist, First Class. And the old Cley cannot be buried until he meets once more with a woman he gravely disfigured--who, in turn, served as catalyst to his transformation from man of "science" to folk healer to wilderness hunter--and she waits in the true village of Wenau in the hidden heart of the Beyond. The journey promises to be a lengthy and a dangerous one, with astonishing sights and circumstances at every turning. Demons and wraiths inhabit this strange land, feeding on Each step forward brings Cley inescapable responsibilities as it carries him into the core of legend and deep into a mystery as old as time. For the Beyond has its needs--and a living consciousness that encompasses all the wonders within its boundaries. And it has important plans for the hunter that require more than he may be able to give. Misrix follows Cley's progression with eager interest. But the demon his own trial before those who fear and despise him--a perilous test of humanity and heart that must inevitably accompany the most treacherous pursuit of all: friendship.
A modern fable based on the labyrinths created by us all Belius has led a peaceful if not uneventful existence until now, as far as minotaurs' lives go. He mostly keeps to his house, avoiding anyone outside of his family. Despite his human parents' efforts to shield him from the potential hysteria of the townspeople, Belius hears about something beyond his home's walls, even beyond the town itself--something called the Wider World. He decides to explore this strange place where the possibilities far outnumber those of the mundane real world. Here, Belius has a chance to be the minotaur he has always wanted to be. He is joined by Vashti the owl and Pezimote the tortoise, creatures that provide the philosophical guidance he will need if he is to complete his physical and metaphysical journey. From World Fantasy Award winner Jeffrey Ford, The Cosmology of the Wider World is about the hopes, dreams, and visions we create for ourselves. This ebook includes an introduction by Jeff VanderMeer.
Overview From the unparalleled imagination of award-winning author Jeffrey Ford come twenty short stories (one, "The Wish Head," written expressly for this collection) that boldly redefine the world. Crackpot Palace is a sumptuous feast of the unexpected--an unforgettable journey that will carry readers to amazing places, though at times the locales may seem strangely familiar, almost like home. Whether he's tracking ghostly events on the border of New Jersey's mysterious Pine Barrens or following a well-equipped automaton general into battle, giving a welcome infusion of new blood to the hoary vampire trope or exposing the truth about what really went down on Dr. Moreau's Island of Lost Souls, Jeffrey Ford has opened a door into a dark and fantastic realm where dream and memory become one.
There is a town that brews a strange intoxicant from a rare fruit called the deathberry--and once a year a handful of citizens are selected to drink it. . . . There is a life lived beneath the water--among rotted buildings and bloated corpses--by those so overburdened by the world's demands that they simply give up and go under. . . . In this mesmerizing blend of the familiar and the fantastic, multiple award-winning New York Times notable author Jeffrey Ford creates true wonders and infuses the mundane with magic. In tales marked by his distinctive, dark imagery and fluid, exhilarating prose, he conjures up an annual gale that transforms the real into the impossible, invents a strange scribble that secretly unites a significant portion of society, and spins the myriad dreams of a restless astronaut and his alien lover. Bizarre, beautiful, unsettling, and sublime, The Drowned Life showcases the exceptional talents of one of contemporary fiction's most original artists.
Magic is everywhere--for those who know where to look Few writers can extract as much enchantment from the mundane as award-winning author Jeffrey Ford. His talent for storytelling is readily evident in The Empire of Ice Cream, his collection of ordinary and extraordinary juxtapositions. The bittersweet Nebula Award-winning title story introduces a composer with synesthesia who finds the sound--and woman--of his dreams through a cup of coffee. Then there are the fairies that inhabit sandcastles in the fleeting moments before the inevitable rise of the tide. Ford populates this charmed collection with stories taken from his own life as well, including "Botch Town," which finds him as a schoolboy, and "The Trentino Kid," which recalls his experience digging for clams.
The World Fantasy Award-winning collection from the architect of the Well-Built City Trilogy No matter how far into the realms of space and fantasy Jeffrey Ford's stories may venture, they have one trait in common: They're grounded in the universal. The Fantasy Writer's Assistant, Ford's debut collection, is no exception. "Creation," which received the World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story, relates a boy's attempts to animate a man made of sticks and pebbles. Even as the creature's life fades along with the summer, its loneliness and yearning for contact are palpable. Other blends of the worldly and otherworldly are evident in "Bright Morning," in which a man searches far and wide for a cursed Kafka book, and "At Reparata," when the grief of a king over the death of his queen takes the form of a destructive moth that could overtake the entire kingdom. The Fantasy Writer's Assistant reveals Jeffrey Ford at his creative best.
Award-winning collection of fantasy stories about writers and writing, aliens obsessed with American movies, dream-visions, and more.
The Great Depression has bound a nation in despair -- and only a privileged few have risen above it: the exorbitantly wealthy ... and the hucksters who feed upon them. Diego, a seventeen-year-old illegal Mexican immigrant, owes his salvation to master grifter Thomas Schell. Together with Schell's gruff and powerful partner, they sail comfortably through hard times, scamming New York's grieving rich with elaborate, ingeniously staged séances -- until an impossible occurrence changes everything. While "communing with spirits," Schell sees an image of a young girl in a pane of glass, silently entreating the con man for help. Though well aware that his otherworldly "powers" are a sham, Schell inexplicably offers his services to help find the lost child -- drawing Diego along with him into a tangled maze of deadly secrets and terrible experimentation. At once a hypnotically compelling mystery and a stunningly evocative portrait of Depression-era New York, The Girl in the Glass is a masterly literary adventure from a writer of exemplary vision and skill.
A trio of con men posing as spiritualists in Depression-era America try to solve the murder of a young girl.
What terrors lurk in the ruins of the Well-Built City? Where manufactured order once reigned, now there is peace. In this second volume of the Well-Built City Trilogy, the dominion has fallen, and its vicious ruler, Drachton Below, has been defeated. Cley has renounced the title of physiognomist, striking out on his own to establish the idyllic village of Wenau, where he lives as a healer and the inhabitants' protector. But when the villagers suddenly start to succumb to a lethal sleeping sickness, Cley is pulled back into the struggle he thought he had left behind. In order to cure his community of this horrible malady, Cley journeys back to the Well-Built City, braving dangerous ruins teeming with mechanical birds and werewolves. Amid the wreckage, he finds the deposed ruler, Drachton Below, comatose from the same sickness that has overtaken Cley's village. Below created this disease, and he is the only one with the knowledge to cure it. In order to create an antidote, Cley must venture into Drachton Below's mind to gather the information he needs from the source before the disease ravages the village--and Below's mind--forever.
Once Cley held a position of respect and fear in Master Drachton Below's cruel autocracy. As physiognomist, Cley practiced a sanctioned, twisted science that condemned men and women to death for the size of their foreheads or thrust of their chins. Yet Cley emerged from the ruins of the Well-Built City a better man, dedicated to healing the physical ills of the simpler agrarian society he has chosen to join. Below's great evil, however, has never abated-and he was not destroyed when his dark social experiment exploded. For his own senseless reasons, he has unleashed a plague of sleep upon Cley's friends and neighbors-a disease that, ironically, has felled the Master as well. And the only antidote lies in a terrible place the former physiognomist fears to enter but knows he must: in the illusory house of a madman's dreams, imagination, and remembrances; in the intricate palace of memories Drachton Below has scrupulously constructed in the Stygian depths of his mind.
Praise for Jeffrey Ford: "Outstanding. . . . Ford uses . . . incongruously lyrical phrases to infuse the everyday with a nebulous magic. "--Publishers Weekly, Best Books of the Year(Starred Review) "For lovers of the weird and fantastic and lovers of great writing, this is a treasure trove of disturbing visions, new worlds and fully realized craft. "--Shelf Awareness (Starred Review) "Properly creepy, but from time to time deliciously funny and heart-breakingly poignant, too. "--Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) Emily Dickinson takes a carriage ride with Death. A couple are invited over to a neighbor's daughter's exorcism. A country witch with a sea-captain's head in a glass globe intercedes on behalf of abused and abandoned children. In July of 1915, in Hardin County, Ohio, a boy sees ghosts. Explore contemporary natural history in a baker's dozen of exhilarating visions. Jeffrey Ford was born on Long Island in New York State in 1955 and grew up in the town of West Islip. He studied fiction writing with John Gardner at S. U. N. Y Binghamton. He's been a college English teacher of writing and literature for thirty years. He is the author of eight novels including The Girl in the Glass and four short story collections. He has received the World Fantasy, Nebula, Edgar, and Shirley Jackson awards. He lives with his wife Lynn in a century old farm house in a land of slow clouds and endless fields.
Winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel: Cley has mastered the art of physiognomy--and now he is about to learn its ultimate truth In the Well-Built City, Master Drachton Below's power is absolute, and he will not hesitate to use it. His primary method of control is through his physiognomists, who are trained to read a person's face and body, perceiving that person's past and secrets--and even events yet to come. These seers are the judges and jury. Now Drachton has found something that could extend his reign for eternity: a fruit that bestows immortality. To investigate its whereabouts, Below sends cold, collected physiognomist Cley to the remote mining town of Anamasobia. One at a time Cley interrogates the townspeople, performing his usual fact finding without issue. That is, until he meets the beautiful and bright Arla, who harbors a secret that could potentially turn Cley's world upside down--and topple the Well-Built City itself. A Kafkaesque journey into the unknown, The Physiognomy is an award-winning trip through a land where the line between reality and imagination is constantly blurred.
Offering a freshly-imagined world of bizarre creatures and strange customs, this unique and sardonic allegory explores the power and price of science and the ambiguity of morality. Humorless and drug addicted, physiognomist Cley is ordered by the Master of the Well-Built City to investigate a theft in a remote mining town. Well-versed in serving justice, arrogant Cley sets out to determine the identity of the thief using the pseudo-science of judging people by their features, but becomes distracted from his task by a beautiful girl from town. When the young-but-wise woman rejects him, he loses faith in his abilities, and in a drug-induced frenzy he "remakes" her features. The subsequent horror of what he has done, what he represents, and the shallow life he leads forces him to seek atonement and true justice, risking the Master's wrath, which may entail death by head explosion.
Mystery concerning the identity of a woman who commissions a man to paint her portrait though he is not allowed to see her.
In New York's Long Island, in the unpredictable decade of the 1960s, a young boy laments the approaching close of summer and the advent of sixth grade. Growing up in a household with an overworked father whom he rarely sees, an alcoholic mother who paints wonderful canvases that are never displayed, an older brother who serves as both tormentor and protector, and a younger sister who inhabits her own secret world, the boy takes his amusements where he can find them. Some of his free time is spent in the basement of the family's modest home, where he and his brother, Jim, have created Botch Town, a detailed cardboard replica of their community, complete with clay figurines representing friends and neighbors. And so the time passes with a not-always-reassuring sameness-until the night a prowler is reported stalking the neighborhood. Appointing themselves ad hoc investigators, the brothers set out to aid the police-while their little sister, Mary, smokes cigarettes, speaks in other voices, inhabits alternate personas . . . and, unbeknownst to her older siblings, moves around the inanimate residents of Botch Town. But ensuing events add a shadowy cast to the boys' night games: disappearances, deaths, and spectral sightings capped off by the arrival of a sinister man in a long white car trawling the neighborhood after dark. Strangest of all is the inescapable fact that every one of these troubling occurrences seems to correspond directly to the changes little Mary has made to the miniature town in the basement. Not since Ray Bradbury's classic Dandelion Wine has a novel so richly evoked the dark magic of small-town boyhood. At once a hypnotically compelling mystery, a masterful re-creation of a unique time and place, a celebration of youth, and a poignant and disquieting portrait of home and family-all balancing on a razor's edge separating reality from the unsettlingly remarkable-The Shadow Year is a monumental new work from one of contemporary fiction's most fearless and inventive artists.
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