The Fantasy Writer's Assistant: And Other Stories

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9781930846579: The Fantasy Writer's Assistant: And Other Stories
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At times literary, at other times surreal, this collection offers a diverse range of stories that deal with real-life conflicts, human values, and coming-of-age experiences, all placed within fantastical settings. An author’s search for an elusive Kafka story leads to a potentially cursed book in “Bright Morning,” while in the award-winning “Exo-Skeleton Town,” humans dress in protective exoskins conveying the personas of bygone Hollywood movie stars in order to barter old Earth movies for an alien aphrodisiac. A young boy comes to term with “Creation” when he molds a man out of the detritus of a nearby forest, and in the title story, a great fantasy writer loses touch with the world he has created and pleads with his young assistant to help him visualize the story’s end and enable him to complete his greatest novel ever. An eclectic offering, these witty and modern fables blend mundane surroundings with eerie situations.

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About the Author:

Jeffrey Ford teaches writing and literature and is the author of The Beyond, The Empire of Ice Cream, The Girl in the Glass, Memoranda, The Physiognomy, Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque, and Vanitas. His award-winning short fiction has appeared in numerous science fiction and fantasy magazines and has been widely anthologized. He lives in Medford Lakes, New Jersey.

From Publishers Weekly:

In World Fantasy Award-winner Ford's enchanting first story collection, proof abounds that a fresh perspective or inventive approach can give the most familiar themes fresh life and startling clarity. "Exo-Skeleton Town," set on a planet where human beings dress like classic movie stars to trade old films for the aphrodisiacal excrement of the planet's cinephile beetle population, is a surprisingly poignant tale of lonely dreamers isolated by their inescapable illusions. In "At Reparata," a king's melancholy over the death of his queen achieves independent life in the form of a ravenous moth that threatens to consume the entire kingdom. Ford (The Physiognomy) laces the 16 selections with subtle allusions to Poe, Verne and other literary forebears that give the deceptively simple plots resonance and depth. His most effective tool, however, is gentle humor that softens the philosophical edges and magically transforms the zombie operatives, organic computer salesmen and extraterrestrial colonists into sympathetic characters with recognizable sensitivities and longings. A lion's share of the stories explore the theme of artistic creation from invigoratingly original angles. "Creation" reconfigures aspects of biblical Genesis and the legend of Frankenstein into a moving tale of love between a father and son. "Bright Morning" is a masterful sleight-of-hand in which the author's autobiographical reminiscence of his fascination with Kafka plunges him into a private Kafkaesque fiction. Sure to be one of the keynote collections of the year, this book will be welcomed by fans of literate, witty modern fantasy.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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9781930846104: The Fantasy Writer's Assistant and Other Stories

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ISBN 10:  193084610X ISBN 13:  9781930846104
Publisher: Golden Gryphon Pr, 2002
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