Ashcroft, BC: Ash-Tree Press, 2001. First edition, hardcover. Since his stories first began appearing in print in the late 1970s, Steve Rasnic Tem has established himself as one of the most prolific and respected voices in modern supernatural fiction. Although his work has been classed as many things—science fiction, horror, fantasy—Tem himself believes that ‘the vast majority of my fiction concerns in some way the idea of ghosts and the power of the past’. Tem’s stories are rooted in a present-day world which, on the surface, appears normal and even safe; a world in which characters go on holiday, attend reunions, pick up children from school, and try to do their jobs as best they can. A closer look, however, reveals a world in which real and imaginary horrors are forever lurking at the edges of vision, ready to reach out and embrace those whose grasp of reality and the ordinary pleasures of life and love is tenuous at best, and slipping more each day. It is also a world in which the past is a constant companion; no more so than in Tem’s stories of Charlie Goode, gathered together here in their entirety for the first time. Charlie, now retired, is forced to confront his own mortality as the past—his own, and that of others—becomes a reality more solid, more urgent, and more hungry than the present. In attempting to make sense of the threads of his life, Charlie comes to realise, as Tem does, that there is both knowledge and discovery in the power of the past. The title story, ‘The Far Side of the Lake’ is published in this collection for the first time. CONTENTS: Introduction (‘Speak Softly and Listen’); At the Bureau; Crutches; The Bad People; Leaks; Stone Head; Mirror Man; The Sky Come Down to Earth; Houses Creaking in the Wind; Grim Monkeys; Rider; Escape on a Train; The Far Side of the Lake; Presage; Derelicts; Aquarium; In the Trees; Among the Old; The Little Dead Girl; In a Guest House; Underground; Dark Shapes in the Road; Decodings; At the End of the Day; Fogwell; Ice House Pond; Charlie Goode’s Ghosts: Introduction (‘Hauntings: The Power of the Past’); The Dancers in the Leaves; Hearts; Bouquet; The Snow People; Cutlery; Absences; Goode Farm. Bibliography. Jacket painting by Tony Patrick. Limited to 500 copies. Fine in fine dj.