Ashcroft, B.C., Canada; Ash-Tree Press: 2003. First edition hardcover. World Fantasy Award-winning writer and editor Jessica Amanda Salmonson has collected together the majority of her ghostly tales and poems for this long-awaited volume. Subtitled 'Ghost Stories of a Melancholic', The Deep Museum demonstrates the ways in which many people find themselves susceptible to the supernatural; particularly those who are suffering from depression, or from the loneliness which besets so many, even in the middle of a bustling modern city. Here other worlds slip subtly into our own: sometimes welcome, sometimes not; misunderstood and feared by many, but accepted by those who find their lives lacking something which the natural world cannot provide.
In a section titled 'Legends of Old America', Salmonson presents tales of ghosts, demons, and witchcraft of the Northwest, the Great Lakes region, and the Deep South. Most of these stories have their origins in folklore and traditional tales, and draw on the rich legends which abound in every region of the United States, but which are too often turned into fodder for campfire tales or urban legends. Lyric verse makes up the section entitled 'Bone Wings', while the eighteen pieces which make up 'The Forsaken Reliquary: A Catalog of Imaginary Lithographic Tints' tell a continuous story from the point of view of someone dead.
Taken together, the stories and poems which make up The Deep Museum provide a glimpse into another world—one which exists more or less peacefully beside the one we know, but which is ready to snare the reckless, the unwary, or the unfortunate.
CONTENTS: Part I: THE DEEP MUSEUM: The House That Knew No Hate; The Toad Witch; In the Red House; Jeremiah; Harmless Ghosts; The Hounds of the Hearth; The Hotel; A Mere Tragedy; The Itinerant; The Phantom Ship; Autumn Guest; Blind Man on the Bus; A Mirror for the Eyes of Winter; The Hungering Lass, A Little Legend of the Rhine; The Noviciate; Mamishka and the Sorcerer; The Apartment.
Part II: BONE WINGS: Bone Wings; In the Palace of Dreams; In the Looking Glass, Life Is Death; House of Omens; Agnostic's Final Breath; Lute; Walk in Sable; Dream-taught; Black the Water; Granny Obia; Night Edged in Silver; Puppet; Sheeted Traveler; Tomorrow I Will Slink Away; Little Sad Spirit; No One in the House; Black Rainbow; The Crone.
Part III: THE FORSAKEN RELIQUARY: A Catalog of Imaginary Tints: Proem (In a Broken Suitcase); The Mournful Pangolin; Mnemosyne's Dew-laden Harp; The Satyr with the Hairbrush Tail; A Midnight Ride in the Garden of Abomination; This Is Our In-and-Out Planet; Thinking of Mrs Partridge; Swan Gate Recital; Mice Bear Dreams out of Twilight; The Girl with Bluejays in Her Chest; The Tragedy of Seraphim; In the Party Room; The Flattering Decline of Toti; Spider in the Eye of the Moon; My Life with Athena; The Grocery Run; or, Three Percussions; Theme for Burned Orphanage; Envoi (Scourging the Ancient of Days).
Part IV: LEGENDS OF OLD AMERICA: Ghoul John and the Corpse; The Mysterious Hermit of Little Falls; The Woman Who Turned to Soap; Explanation of a Ghost; Excerpt from an Old Journal; John and the Magic Skillet; The Night It Came; Mrs Carr's Tale of Peshnekai's Ghost; The Fairhaven Phantom Train: A Christmas Ghost Story; The Last Passenger; The Headless Colonel; The Queen Mum. Sources and acknowledgments.
Jacket art is by Paul Lowe. Limited to 500 copies.