cover art by Mike Dringenberg


"In this enchanting, if melancholy, story collection from Hugo- and Nebula Award-nominee Baker (Mother Aegypt), the supernatural matter-of-factly touches the shabby lives of people in small, isolated towns, providing resolution and revelation..."

A nother volume of stories supernatural. Heroes and heroines from a universe adjacent to, but slightly tilted out from, the one we know. Like an angled mirror, it reflects things just beyond our line of sight.

THE TWO OLD WOMEN: A story of ancient rivals. But only one of them ever wins… No cyborgs here.

PORTRAIT, WITH FLAMES: A long time ago in a lost world, there was a girl who called herself Shadow… Cyborg-free.

CALAMARI CURLS: The perils of opening an upscale eatery in the peculiar little town of Nunas Beach. It’s Fresh! It’s Fun! It’s Doomed!... It doesn’t involve cyborgs.

MONKEY DAY: Faith and Reason duke it out, with monkeys. The fight ends in a draw. No cyborgs were injured or even involved in any way whatsoever.

KATHERINE’S STORY: The short originally available through Fictionwise, but rewritten and expanded. A young mother, haunted by her past, chooses an unlikely future. No cyborgs in this one, either.

OH, FALSE YOUNG MAN!: A retelling of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Feathertop, with a change of century and a change of coast. Close, but not actually a cyborg story.

SO THIS GUY WALKS INTO A LIGHTHOUSE: Edgar Allan Poe’s unfinished tale, given one possible ending. Arcane technology, certainly, but cyborgs? No.

SILENT LEONARDO: Kage’s one and only alternate history story. Did Leonardo da Vinci invent cyborgs? Nope.

THE MAID ON THE SHORE: Captain Sir Henry Morgan (No, not the Artificial Intelligence of the same name) leads the Brethren of the Coast on an expedition across the Caribbean to sack Old Panama. Gold, blood, fire, shipwrecks, rum, mystery, war, love, death and fate. But no cyborgs.

Thanks are extended to Mr. Tom Barclay, gentleman and scholar, with whom I have long quested after the original melody to Fifteen Men on a Dead Man’s Chest; also to Mr. Gary Stark, whose Cliff House Project has given me the closest real opportunity I’ve had to travel in time. Not to forget Master Patrick Rettinhouse, who will undoubtedly be a gentleman and scholar some day.

Further thanks go out to the unknown soul who put a copy of the February 1960 issue of National Geographic Magazine up for sale on eBay, thereby allowing me to recapture the sense of being a seven-year-old discovering Port Royal, drowned city of the pirates. Not much withstands the passage of years, but National Geographic is faithful and true.

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