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In the jungles of Guatemala, David Mingolla is struggling to survive amongst the rotting vegetation and his despairing fellow foot soldiers. He knows he is nothing but an expendable pawn in an endless war. On R & R a few miles away from the warzone he meets Debora - an enigmatic young woman who may be working for the enemy - and stumbles into a deadly psychic conflict where the mind is the greatest weapon.
Lucius Shepard's work ranges across the fields of fantasy, science fiction and magic realism, garnering comparisons with Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Best-known for the story suite The Dragon Griaule - available as a Gollancz Fantasy Masterwork - he has won or been nominated for every major SFF award. This omnibus collects his ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD-shortlisted novel GREEN EYES, WORLD FANTASY AWARD-winning collection THE JAGUAR HUNTER and SHIRLEY JACKSON AWARD-winning novella VACANCY.
Lucius Shepard's short fiction ranges far and wide over the field of SF and fantasy, and is crammed with show-stopper ideas and an intense originality. The Ends of the Earth is a testimonial to a genius of the genre, and a major American writer. Winner of the 1992 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection.Contents:The Ends of the Earth (1989)Delta Sly Honey (1987)Bound for Glory (1989)The Exercise of Faith (1987)Nomans Land (1988)Life of Buddha (1988)Shades (1987)Aymara (1986)A Wooden Tiger (1988)The Black Clay Boy (1987)Fire Zone Emerald (1985)On the Border (1987)The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter (1988)Surrender (1989)
This collection of fact and fiction was inspired by the time science fiction writer Lucius Shepard spent with Missoula Mike, Madcat, and other members of a controversial brotherhood known as the Freight Train Riders of America. Shepard rode the rails throughout the western half of the United States with the disenfranchised, the homeless, the punks, the gangs, and the joy riders for the magazine article 'The FTRA Story'. 'Over Yonder' and 'Jailbait'. In 'Over Yonder', alcoholic Billy Long Gone finds himself on an unusual train. As Billy travels his health improves and his thinking clears, and he arrives in Yonder - an unlikely paradise where a few hundred hobos live in apparent peace and tranquillity. But every paradise has its price, and in Yonder, peace and tranquillity breed complacency and startling deaths. 'Jailbait' is a hardcore tale of deception, lust, revenge, and murder in the seedy underbelly of rail yards and train hopping. Madcat, who functions best in a whiskey-induced haze, must decide between solitude and companionship when he meets up with Grace, an underaged runaway. Grace, in turn, seeks the security of an older man and the life about which only young girls can dream.
A man walks into a bar. A dispute ensues, and the bartender kills him. He's sentenced to ten years for manslaughter. In prison, the convict, Wardlin Stuart, writes prayers addressed to no god in particular. Inexplicably, his prayers - whether it's a request for a girlfriend or a special favor for a fellow inmate - are answered, be it in days or weeks. When his collection of supplications, A Handbook of American Prayer, is published by a New York press, Stuart emerges a celebrity author. Settling into a new life in Arizona, he encounters a fundamentalist minister. The two are destined for a confrontation. In the interim, it seems that the god to whom Stuart has been praying has manifested himself on the earth. In this short novel about America's conflicting love triangle - celebrity, spirituality, and money - Shepard negotiates the thin line between the real and the surreal, expounding upon violence and redemption along the way. this story of an unlikely American messiah shows why The Wall Street Journal has compared Shepard, an award-winning author, to Graham Greene, Robert Stone, and Ward Just.
Jack Mustaine discovers Grail, Louisiana, when the BMW he "e;borrowed"e; to leave L.A. breaks down outside the town. The sheriff nearly scams him out of the car before Grail's top dog, Joe Dill, comes to the rescue. Then Dill brings Jack to Le Bon Chance saloon, where Jack starts wondering whether he was rescued. After luscious Vida Dumars takes him home, he starts doubting his sanity. Vida's a prodigious lay, and Jack thinks he's in love, but tomorrow is St. John's Eve, when the new Midsummer Queen will be chosen by the Good Gray Man, and outgoing MQ Vida has to pass the scepter to a 10-year-old. Plenty of people tell Jack to get Vida out of town beforehand, and he wants to, but . . .
In the town of Trujillo, in Honduras, on the edge of the Mosquito Coast, Dr. Arturo Ochoa, a semi-retired psychiatrist, has a single patient: a troubled young man named Thomas Stearns, the son of a wealthy Atlanta family. Stearns has been found adrift on the Caribbean in a vessel owned by two Nicaraguans, both of whom are missing; he has been alone for eighteen days and has little memory of that time. Suspected of murder, Stearns is unconcerned. He knows his family will buy off the police. But he is reluctant to leave Trujillo, having developed an odd affinity for the town. As therapy progresses, he tells of a mysterious stone figure regurgitated by, improbably, a whirlpool, and Dr. Ochoa - drawn into his pathology - begins to doubt not only Stearns' sanity, but his own . . .
Lucius Shepard is a grand master of dark fantasy, famed for his baroque yet utterly contemporary visions of existential subversion and hallucinatory collapse. In Dagger Key, his fifth major story collection, Shepard confronts hard-bitten loners and self-deceiving operators with the shadowy emptiness within themselves and the insinuating darkness without, to ends sardonic and terrifying. The stories in this book, including six novellas, are:"e;Stars Seen Through Stone"e; - in a small Pennsylvania town, mediocrity suddenly blossoms into genius; but at what terrible cost?"e;Emerald Street Expansions"e; - in near-future Seattle, echoes of the life of a medieval French poet hint at either reincarnation or a dire conspiracy."e;Limbo"e; - a retired criminal on the run from the Mafia encounters ghosts, and much worse, on the shores of a haunted lake."e;Liar's House"e; - in the grip of the legendary dragon Griaule, destiny is a treacherous and transformative thing."e;Dead Monty"e; - a small-time New Orleans criminal ventures outside his proper territory, and poker and voudoun conspire to bring him down."e;Dinner at Baldassaro's"e; - a gang of immortals debates the future in an Italian resort, only for events to outrun any of their expectations. "e;Abimagique"e; - a glib college loser falls in love with a witch, becoming an involuntary part of a world-saving - or world-destroying - magical ritual."e;The Lepidopertrist"e; - a small boy on a Caribbean island witnesses the creation of preternatural beings by a Yankee wizard..."e;Dagger Key"e; - off the coast of Belize, the ghost of a famous pirate seems to control a spiral of murder and intrigue; or is someone else responsible?
Lucius Shepard's acclaimed Dragon Griaule stories are presented here for the first time in a single volume. This Fantasy Masterworks edition contains: 'The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule' 'The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter' 'The Father of Stones' 'Liar's House' 'The Taborin Scale' 'The Skull' This is the definitive tale of the Dragon Griaule: a beast so immense its body forms part of the landscape ...
A washed-up actor, a mysterious motel and a Malaysian "e;woman of power"e; form the central elements in a riveting account of a rootless man forced to confront the impossible - but very real- demons of his past.
Ariel brilliantly transmutes some traditional SF concepts - alien incursions, the mysteries of quantum physics - into an astonishing, often moving reflection on love and obsession, memory and identity, and the archetypal conflict that stands at the heart of an infinite multitude of worlds.
Nantucket Slayrides contains the two short novels "e;How the Wind Spoke at Madaket"e; and "e;Nomans Land"e; by Shepard and Robert Frazier's "e;The Summer People"e;.
In Aztechs, Shepard returns to the near-future setting of his Nebula Award-winning story, "e;R&R"e; (later part of Life During Wartime). El Rayo, the bustling border community grown up along the electrified fence along the U.S./Mexican border, is home to Eddie Poe, who earns his living by providing security. The men he hires are AWOL U.S. soldiers. AZTECH, a mysterious high-tech firm rumored to be run by a renegade U.S. military AI named Montezuma, hires Eddie and his bodyguards to join AZTECH representative Montezuma 2 ("e;Z2"e;) for a meeting with the Carbonell cartel. When the meeting goes sour and Z2 is badly wounded, one of the soldiers lobs a pocket nuke to cover their escape, and Eddie realizes he's no longer in control...
In a landscape that will exist only for as long as it is imagined, VALENTINE unfolds to reveal the intricacies of the human heart. In South Florida, a hurricane alert waylays a journalist in the coastal town of Piersall. This safe harbour hosts an unlikely reunion, as he miraculously finds himself stranded with a lost love. This chance encounter is merely the first in a chain of events that will again link these estranged lovers to one another. But eventually the suggestion emerges that their love may not be governed by chance alone, but by the ever-bending rules of the imagination. Investigating the nature of their love and the elusive, alienating force that separated them in the past, despite their seemingly boundless passion, this is an erotic valentine of insatiable longing and hope that will make a sensual and entrancing holiday gift.
A chilling and mysterious voice becomes audible to Sanie shortly after she and her husband Jackson move into the decaying antebellum mansion that is the Bullard ancestral home in rural South Carolina. At first, she wonders if the voice might be a prank played by Jackson's peyote-popping brother Will or his equally off-kilter sister Louise.But soon Sanie discovers that the ghostly voice is merely a single piece of the decadent, baroque puzzle that comprises the Bullard family history, rank with sensuality, violence, repression and madness.
Fourteen stories - including "e;Radiant Green Star"e;, winner of the 2001 Locus Award for Best Novella - make up this classic collection. Leading off the book is the Nebula Award-winning title story, in which a poor Honduran hunter is coerced into tracking the forbidden "e;Black Jaguar of Barrio Carolina."e; Futuristic war, menacing wind spirits, parallel worlds, a six-thousand-foot dragon: this collection proves that Shepard is neither genre fantasist not strict realist, but one of the most intriguing writers we have today.