Ghost Trouble: The Casefiles of Eli Mothersbaugh

by Richard Parks
Release date: October 2011
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction, fantasy, short stories, mystery

Eli Mothersbaugh is the top field agent for an under-funded, over-extended government organization known as the Bureau of Bio-Remnant Reconciliation. Set in an alternate near future where the existence of ghosts is an accepted scientific truth, it is Eli's job to help keep the living and the dead at peace with one another. Eli is physically sensitive to the energy fields that mark a ghost, but unfortunately he discovered his gift before the reality of ghostly manifestations was proven. When his parents, the two people he trusted most, nearly had him committed for psychiatric treatment, Eli was devastated and now makes it his mission to get to the true cause of any tension between the living and the dead, no matter where that truth might be hiding, or where the pursuit of it might lead.

The first Eli Mothersbaugh story, "Wrecks," appeared in the British SF magazine Odyssey back in 2002. Since then, they've been published in such august venues as Asimov's SF and Realms of Fantasy. Here, for the first time, are gathered all twelve of the tales of the Bureau of Bio-Remnant Reconciliation, including five new stories that were written especially for this collection.

Editorial Reviews:

"Four stories feature benevolent ghostbuster Eli Mothersbaugh of Canemill, Mississippi, and are so fine, sensitive, and Southern that Eudora Welty might approve them." - Ray Olson, Booklist (re Worshipping Small Gods) June 2007

"The most compelling entry, "Voices in an Empty Room," features a recurring character in many of Parks's stories: intrepid ghost hunter Eli Mothersbaugh. Ten years after a suicide terrorist killed more than a hundred people at an Independence Day ceremony in Canemill, Miss., Mothersbaugh investigates a haunting. What Mothersbaugh uncovers will change his view of the world forever." - Publisher's Weekly (re Worshipping Small Gods) May 2007

"Eli Mothersbaugh is an interpreter of ghost activity; with the aid of new technology (these stories take place in the future), he is able to solve mysteries of ghost appearances and, if necessary, remove ghosts altogether. The series of stories creates a hybrid genre - science fiction/fantasy/mystery - that convincingly and delightfully creates a world (based out of Canemill, Mississippi, Eli's fictional place of origin and the setting for the series of stories) in which the past is a bothersome but ever-present encroachment upon daily life." - Strange Horizons, (re Worshipping Small Gods) April 2008

updated 2020-05-11

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