SUBTERRANEAN: TALES OF DARK FANTASY 2 edited by William K. Schafer, Dust jacket by Dave McKean. Burton, MI; Subteranean Press; 2011. 1st trade hardcover edition. OUT OF PRINT.
Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy, published in 2008 to widespread critical and popular acclaim, provided a unique showcase for some of our finest practitioners of dark, disturbing fiction. This much anticipated second volume more than meets the standards set by its predecessor, offering a diverse assortment of stories guaranteed to delight, unsettle, and enthrall. Volume two proper is a full 20,000 words longer than the first installment in the series.
This stellar collection leads off with Joe Hill’s dazzling “Wolverton Station,” in which a predatory businessman travels to England, and to a primal confrontation he could never have imagined. Elsewhere, a number of contributors revisit familiar, well-established themes and settings. Glen Cook’s “Smelling Danger” gives us a brand new chapter in the long-running annals of The Black Company. “The Passion of Mother Vajpai” is a story of exotic – and erotic – initiation set against the backdrop of Jay Lake’s novel, Green. Kelley Armstrong reenters the Otherworld with “Chivalrous,” the account of a devious – and long-delayed – act of revenge.
And there’s more, much more, including a hallucinatory portrait of guilt, angst, and drug-fueled violence by Caitlin R. Kiernan, and an affecting reflection on love, death, and acceptance by Steven R. Boyett. These stories, together with first-rate work by the likes of K. J. Parker and Norman Partridge, offer provocative, sometimes visceral entertainment. As this rich, rewarding volume amply demonstrates, the tale of dark fantasy is alive and thriving, and continues to develop in new – and unexpected – ways.
Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2 is made up almost exclusively of novelettes rather than short stories.
Trade: Fully cloth bound hardcover edition.
Table of Contents:
Joe Hill – Wolverton Station,
Kelley Armstrong – Chivalrous
Steven R. Boyett – Not Last Night but the Night Before,
Glen Cook – Smelling Danger: A Story of The Black Company,
Caitlin R. Kiernan – Hydraguros,
Jay Lake and Shannon Page – The Passion of Mother Vajpai,
K. J. Parker – A Room with a View,
Norman Partridge – Vampire Lake,
David Prill — A Pulp Called Joe,
William Browning Spencer — That Dappled Thing,
Bruce Sterling — The Partheneon Scalpel.
From Publishers Weekly (Starred Review):
“Subterranean Press founder Schafer follows 2008’s Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy with a superb anthology of 11 twisty stories… Each tale has an element of the unexpected, playing delightfully on themes of individuality and unsettled outcomes.”
From Locus Online:
[Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2] is “for readers who appreciate the varieties of narrative voice, the play of language and the unexpected twist of plot, but most of all the full range of the genre.”
Fine in fine dj.