Jacket painting by Tony Patrick. Limited to 500 copies.
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.
Steve Rasnic Tem (born 1950) was born in Jonesville, Virginia, which is in the heart of Appalachia. He went to college at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and also at Virginia Commonwealth University. He got a B.A. in English education. In 1974, he moved to Colorado and studied creative writing at Colorado State University. He is married to author Melanie Tem. The couple have three kids and live in a large house in Colorado.
Steve Rasnic Tem's short fiction has been compared to the work of Franz Kafka, Dino Buzzati, Ray Bradbury, and Raymond Carver, but to quote Joe R. Lansdale: "Steve Rasnic Tem is a school of writing unto himself." His 200 plus published pieces have garnered him a British Fantasy Award, and nominations for the World Fantasy and Bram Stoker Awards.
Photo by Debra Lee Fanatia.