by Charles Coleman Finlay
Charles Coleman Finlay's first story "Footnotes" consisted entirely of footnotes describing a future disaster. When it was published in 2001 it puzzled many readers who wondered if he knew how to tell a story. A few months later his novella "The Political Officer" answered many of their questions. The deep space adventure about loyalty and betrayal made the Hugo and Nebula ballots, and helped make Finlay a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
Now this first collection shows the full range of his storytelling skills. A young Percival visits Faery years before he meets the Fisher King. A future earth is populated by only two kinds of people, homosexuals and hydrosexuals. The hostess of an island bed and breakfast shines with a deadly inner light. Two people on an asteroid colony risk everything to bring their families back from the brink of starvation. A zombie art teacher undertakes a quest for a really hot girl and a nice set of wheels. Three spies enter the abandoned city of Khorpis Kharn to kill a transfigured sorcerer. The slave Gabriel Prosser seeks his freedom in an America where Washington died in office and his successors drove Jefferson into exile.
These fourteen stories traverse the entire landscape of imagination--from alternate history to Arthurian romance, from sword and sorcery to space opera, from horror to the home next door. "I suspect he'll turn out to be a writer like Kate Wilhelm or Fritz Leiber, who is good in whichever field he turns to," --Gordon Van Gelder, Editor, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction