"Imogene" is young and beautiful. She kisses like a movie star and knows everything about every film ever made. She's also dead and waiting in the Rosebud Theater for Alec Sheldon one afternoon in 1945. . . . "Arthur Roth" is a lonely kid with big ideas and a gift for attracting abuse. It isn't easy to make friends when you're the only inflatable boy in town. . . . "Francis" is unhappy. Francis was human once, but that was then. Now he's an eight-foot-tall locust and everyone in Calliphora will tremble when they hear him sing. . . . "John Finney" is locked in a basement that's stained with the blood of half a dozen other murdered children. In the cellar with him is an antique telephone, long since disconnected, but which rings at night with calls from the dead. . . .
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Hill's stories are visceral and nasty in places, but never gratuitous. The collection as a whole is polished and well written. Even the most macabre themes are handled exceptionally well, so one story ever feels exploitative or trashy. Joe Hill is definitely one to watch. (SCI-FI NOW Ross Sutcliffe)From the Publisher:
Every once in a while, a book -- and, indeed, a writer -- comes along that takes the wind right out of your sails: and I mean that in the most pleasant way possible. 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS is that book, as fine a collection of ghost and horror stories as you could ever wish to read. And Joe Hill is that writer.
Although some of these stories have appeared elsewhere, in various (albeit obscure or very low circulation) magazines, Joe has appeared on the scene pretty much fully-formed. Every one of these tales could be mistaken for the output of a writer well into his or her career. But don't take my word for it -- evidence of his skill as as a storyteller is already there . . . with Joe being a past winner of the Ray Bradbury Fellowship and the A.E. Coppard Long Fiction Prize, as well as a nominee for the Pushcart Prize. And now he's got TWO stories in the five-story shortlist for this year's British Fantasy Awards. I suspect more nominations will follow. Don't say you weren't warned.
And we're putting our money where our mouth is on this one. We've got three editions instead of our usual two: a slipcased edition with extra material and signed by Joe and Introducer Chris Golden; a regular trade hardcover edition, signed by Joe and a trade paperback edition, unsigned.
Believe me, this one's a winner.. . new talents and household names alike, and from both sides of the Atlantic.
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