xi • Introduction (Afterlives) • essay by Ian Watson and Pamela Sargent
1 • The American Book of the Dead • novelette by Jody Scott
29 • Time of Passage • (1964) • short story by J. G. Ballard
47 • Of Space-Time and the River • (1985) • novelette by Gregory Benford
89 • Out of My Head • novelette by James E. Gunn [as by James Gunn]
113 • A Work of Art • (1956) • novelette by James Blish
137 • The Rapture • poem by Thomas M. Disch [as by Tom Disch]
139 • Wood • novelette by Michael N. Langford
161 • A Woman’s Life • short story by W. Warren Wagar
179 • Into That Good Night • novelette by James A. Stevens [as by James Stevens]
217 • Prometheus’s Ghost • novelette by Chet Williamson 247 • Small Change •…
Cedar Lane • (1990) • short story by Karl Edward Wagner
Erosion • (1990) • short story by Susan Palwick
Firetrap • (1990) • novelette by Greg Cox
Grandmother’s Footsteps • (1990) • novelette by Gwyneth Jones
Happy Hour • (1990) • novelette by Ian Watson
House Hunter • (1990) • novelette by Sharon Baker
Inside the Walled City • (1990) • novelette by Garry Kilworth
Introduction: Literary Architecture • (1990) • essay by Kathryn Cramer
Madame Enchantia and the Maze of Dream • (1990) • short story by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
Out of Sight, Out of Mind • (1990) • short story by Jack Womack
Penelope Comes Home • (1990) • novella by M. J. Engh
Slippage • (1990) • short story by Edward Bryant
Tales from a New England Telephone Directory • (1990) • short story by James Morrow
The Art of Falling Down • (1990) • short story by Jonathan Carroll
The Cairnwell Horror • (1990) • novelette by Chet Williamson
The Haunted Boardinghouse • (1990) • novelette by Gene Wolfe
The House on Rue Chartres • (1990) • short story by Richard A. Lupoff
Jeff looked over his shoulder back to the hidden pigpen. Pearl was all he could see. Pearl. Sitting on its ass like a person might, it’s front hooves limp at the sides of its belly, head was cocked slightly to the side, pink ears straight high above its head. Its bad eye looked dark, hidden; its good eye was fixed on Jeff. In it, Jeff saw an intelligence that scared him.
A half smile appeared under the pig’s snout, or maybe it was just the way its lips naturally curled up at their ends. Jeff fingered the latch. Pearl watched. Staring. Assessing. Planning? He pulled his fingers away. A streak of shame ran down his back, like he’d come close to letting something very bad out of the pen…
Special Cemetery Dance Hardcover Signed, Limited Edition
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Ian Watson is a British science fiction and horror writer who’s published a wide range of books and short stories over his long, successful career. I first discovered him upon reading his short story “Happy Hour” in one of my favorite anthologies, The Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories. I found it to be a unique, brilliant tale of supernatural horror. The four stories featured here today mark all the ones that I have in the various anthologies I own. Each is a great read.
“Salvage Rites” (1986) – A couple encounter terror after becoming lost in a salvage yard where they were dropping something off.The salvage yard is a maze of giant dump bins which continues on far longer than seems possible. The misanthropic family that operates the yard begin to stalk the couple as they progress further into the vile yard.
Flintlock pistols, ca. Late 17th Century, France (Pinterest).
‘The new accessibility of pistols across social classes turned an already dangerous city into an even more deadly one. The product of the sixteenth-century discovery of saltpeter, guns revolutionized early European warfare overnight. By the 1640s the French had perfected flintlock-firing technology, which made guns much lighter, smaller, and less expensive to produce than traditional wheel-lock guns and rifles. Armed with pocket-size pistols under their cloaks, thieves became bolder. Parisians looking to protect their homes raced to buy handguns, making the city all the more unsafe.
In response to the rising violence, the Crown issued an edict in 1660 calling for the ban of all weapons including—and especially—handguns, by anyone other than soldiers, police officers, judges, and noblemen. The law did not have the desired effect. Another ordinance issued six years later repeated the 1660 law nearly verbatim. It also added that all handguns needed to be conspicuous, heavy, and with barrels that were at least fifteen inches long. Any person in possession of such a weapon was required to carry a lantern or a torch as he moved through the streets at night, so both law officials and citizens could see that the person was armed. Judging from the violence that filled the city after dark, few followed this mandate either.’
– Holly Tucker, City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris