Urbana, IL: Golden Gryphon Press, 2000. 1st hardcover edition. Andy Duncan has attracted attention from the most prominent personae in speculative fiction, and deservedly so. This collection includes Hugo- and Nebula-nominated stories, as well as two never-before-published. The Hugo-nominated title piece spins the tale of John the guitarist and his exploits after he refuses to disembark the train at Hell, and travels to the next station, Beluthahatchie. In this and other stories Duncan delights us with his command of southern patois, as befits a native of South Carolina. Other topics include the actress that survived the Titanic, and her role in the subsequent film, with "ghostly" editing. A backstage look at a 1920s horror theater is the setting for "Grand Guignol." What would be the training and concerns for an executioner in "The Executioners' Guild?" Romances in the graveyard and in the studio are visited in "The Premature Burials" and in "Liza and the Crazy Water Man." How would Patton react, if he knew the future consequences of his actions? Was Sam Doyle correct, and did Abraham Lincoln visit Frogmore? These and others will vividly illuminate the melange of Duncan's writing.
Plus, there are 7,500 words of never-before-published author's notes, a Foreword by Nebula-winner Michael Bishop, an Afterword by Nebula-winner John Kessel, and cover art by Hugo-winner Bob Eggleton. SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR.