In the opening story of this extraordinary collection, “California Burning,” a man must come to terms with a strange truth about his dead father, whose corpse refuses to be cremated. In “Snow in Dirt,” a man finds the woman of his dreams buried in a state of suspended animation in his garden. The burned-out fashion designer in “Hymenoptera” receives new inspiration when a chest-high, eight-foot-long wasp shows up in his studio. And in stories like “Twenty-two and You,” “The Roberts,” and “Know How Can Do,” Blumlein explores the consequences — sometimes humorous, sometimes horrific — of scientific technologies such as genetic manipulation and the creation of artificial life.
Varying widely in theme and subject matter, these stories showcase the breadth and power of Michael Blumlein’s vision and once again reveal him to be one of the most original and fascinating of contemporary writers. They are stories that skirt the boundaries of fantasy, science fiction and horror, existing in a genre uniquely the author’s own.
This volume brings together all the short fiction published by Blumlein in the three decades since the original appearance of his award-winning collection The Brains of Rats (1989), including two stories published here in book form for the first time.
“One of science fiction’s most piercing literary talents.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“Blumlein has an exceptional vision and he conveys it with exceptional talent.” — Washington Post
“Blumlein is one of the most important, original and challenging writers working in SF or horror today.” — Science Fiction Eye
"Twenty-Two and You"
"Paul and Me"
"Snow in Dirt"
"The Big One"
"Greedy for Kisses"
"Fidelity: A Primer"
"Strategy for Conflict Avoidance: Memo to George W, Our Commander-in-Chief"
"Bird Walks in New England"
"Know How, Can Do"
"Choose Poison, Choose Life"
Michael Blumlein, M.D. is a fiction writer and a physician. Most of his writing is in or near the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. His novels include The Healer, The Movement of Mountains and X, Y. He has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award and the Bram Stoker Award. His short stories have been collected in anthologies and published in Interzone and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, among others.