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THE BEST OF LUCIUS SHEPARD by Lucius Shepard, cover by J.K.Potter. Burton, MI; Subterranean Press; 2008. 1st edition hardcover.

Lucius Shepard writes from the darkest, truest heart of America -- not the heart of the United States or of North America, but all of America -- and he writes of it with rare passion, honesty and intelligence. His earliest stories, the ones that made his name a quarter of a century ago were set in the jungles of South America and filled with creatures dark and fantastical. Stories like "Salvador", "The Jaguar Hunter", and the excoriatingly brilliant "R&R" deconstructed war and peace in South America, in both the past and the future, like no other writer of the fantastic.

A writer of great talent and equally great scope, Shepard has also written of the seamier side of the United States at home in classic stories like "Life of Buddha" and "Dead Money", and in "Only Partly Here" has written one of the finest post-9/11 stories yet. Perhaps strangest of all, Shepard created one of the greatest sequence of "dragon" stories we've seen in the tales featuring the enormous dragon, Griaule.

The Best of Lucius Shepard is the first ever career retrospective collection from one of the finest writers of the fantastic to emerge in the United States over the past quarter century. It contains nearly 300,000 words of his best short fiction and is destined to be recognized as a true classic of the field.

Table of Contents:

The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule, Salvador, A Spanish Lesson, The Jaguar Hunter, R&R, The Arcevoalo, Shades, Delta Sly Honey, Life of Buddha, White Trains, Jack's Decline, Beast of the Heartland, Radiant Green Star, Only Partly Here, Jailwise, Hands Up! Who Wants to Die?, Dead Money, Stars Seen Through Stone.

From Publishers Weekly (Starred Review): "This fine selection of some of the best short fiction by one of the most respected dark fantasy writers in the world will be a must purchase for aficionados of the genre... Shepard is fantasy literature's Joseph Conrad or perhaps its Saul Bellow, a writer who never tires of staring directly into the abyss."

From Booklist (Starred Review): "Shepard writes the richest prose in all of dark fantasy, the longish short story and the novella are his fortes, and it isn't too extreme to say he ranks with Hawthorne in depth of concentration, perception, and moral resonance... Quite often, Shepard seems to be writing fantasy only because he conceives of magic, supernatural or existential, arising out of extreme violence and terror. Always, however, he is writing better than nearly anyone else in Anglophone America today."

From SF Site: "What is indisputable is that Lucius Shepard, at his best, is one of the most awesomely talented writers that America has produced over the last quarter-century or so, and there is enough proof of that talent in this collection to satisfy anyone."

1st trade hardcover edition. Fine in fine dj.