Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions

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9780060934705: Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions

This definitive collection of Neil Gaiman's short fiction will haunt your imagination and move you to the very depths of your soul.

An elderly widow finds the Holy Grail beneath an old fur coat. A stray cat fights and refights a terrible nightly battle to protect his unwary adoptive family from unimaginable evil. A young couple receives a wedding gift that reveals a chilling alternative history of their marriage. These tales and much more await in this extraordinary book, revealing one of our most gifted storytellers at the height of his powers.

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Review:

Best known for his Sandman graphic novels about Morpheus, Lord of Dreams, Neil Gaiman has also written the standalone books Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), Never Where from his BBC TV series revealing a fantastic realm under London, and Star Dust, a poignant fairy tale. His shorter fantasies are regularly picked for Year's Best collections. Smoke and Mirrors assembles 36 of his favourite stories, prose poems, and verse pieces. Among the imaginative inventions here are a murder mystery set among angels in heaven; the discovery of the Holy Grail at Oxfam; warped retellings of fairy tales and folklore, including a Snow White that's black beyond belief; several clever variations on vampirism; a firm of contract killers with a very remarkable discount scheme; homages to Michael Moorcock and H.P. Lovecraft (one splendidly funny) that avoid mere pastiche; an SF world of rapid and reversible sex changes; Beowulf retold as a Baywatch episode; a tasty amalgamation of computers and black magic; a new final book of the Bible; and the grim wedding present that's simply a manuscript telling a bleakly different story of the recipients' unfolding marriage. SF/fantasy professionals themselves envy Gaiman's perpetual flow of new ideas and ability to put a fresh spin on old ones. Smoke and Mirrors is a dazzlingly varied and rewarding collection. -- David Langford

Review:

'A very fine and imaginative writer' ( The Sunday Times)

'Exuberantly inventive' ( Kirkus Reviews)

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