Those who have been following Jeffrey Ford's career have been awaiting this collection eagerly. Ford's reputation has grown with each story published. Each of his novels has established his place as one of the premier genre authors of his time. Finally, the magnificent Golden Gryphon press brings us a collection of Ford's short stories, a collection packed with grade A fiction.
Ford's fiction runs the gamut from the delicately beautifully to the wonderfully bizarre. The masterpiece 'Creation' explores a boy's relationship with his father against the backdrop of a man made out of logs he believes he's created in the forest. 'Creation' is a hauntingly beautiful story that is sure to be included on 2003 award ballets. 'Exo-Skeleton Town' takes place on an alien planet. The alien inhabitants are crazy about vintage movies, and trade balls of dung, which has aphrodisiac qualities, for copies of the movies. The few humans on the planet wear exo-suits (shaped to look like former film stars) to deal with the planet's atmospheric pressure. 'Exo-Skeleton Town' may be my favorite Ford story. Filled with lively and believable characters, magnificently odd plot twists and a touching conclusion.
'The Fantasy Writer's Assistant' tells the story of a best-selling fantasy writer who is losing his gift to 'see' into his created universe and turns it over to his assistant. The assistant learns that the characters in the universe are being exploited by the writer and tries to undo his damage. "Floating in Lindrethool" is a marvelous noirish story about a door-to-door salesman who tries to sell floating brains in a jar but inadvertently falls in love with one of them.
You get the idea. Jeffrey Ford is a consumate storyteller, a master of the written word. This collection doesn't even display the full range of Ford's talent. He has written exquisite stories not included herein, currently available in _The Green Man_ and _Leviathan 3_, that I strongly urge you to read. Whether you've read Ford's stories previously or he's a complete unknown to you, this collection is one that you must read. It's not only one of the best genre collections of 2002, it's one of the best I've ever seen. Highly recommended.