Dust jacket by J.K. Potter
Lucius Shepard writes from the darkest, truest heart of America -- not the heart of the United States or of North America, but all of America -- and he writes of it with rare passion, honesty and intelligence. His earliest stories, the ones that made his name a quarter of a century ago were set in the jungles of South America and filled with creatures dark and fantastical. Stories like "Salvador", "The Jaguar Hunter", and the excoriatingly brilliant "R&R" deconstructed war and peace in South America, in both the past and the future, like no other writer of the fantastic.
A writer of great talent and equally great scope, Shepard has also written of the seamier side of the United States at home in classic stories like "Life of Buddha" and "Dead Money", and in "Only Partly Here" has written one of the finest post-9/11 stories yet. Perhaps strangest of all, Shepard created one of the greatest sequence of "dragon" stories we've seen in the tales featuring the enormous dragon, Griaule.
The Best of Lucius Shepard is the first ever career retrospective collection from one of the finest writers of the fantastic to emerge in the United States over the past quarter century. It contains nearly 300,000 words of his best short fiction and is destined to be recognized as a true classic of the field.
Table of Contents
Trade edition: Fully cloth bound hardcover
Limited to 200 signed and numbered hardcover copies, including an exclusive trade paperback volume -- projected to be 250-300 pages -- containing previously uncollected rarities such as the stunning novella "Skull City" and the shorter gem, "The Glassblower's Dragon." and SOLD OUT pre-publication
Dust jacket illustration by Armando Veve.
Edited by Bill Sheehan.
About the Book:
When Lucius Shepard passed away in 2014, he left behind a body of work unparalleled in its richness, power, and sheer originality. In 2008, Subterranean Press published The Best of Lucius Shepard, which served as a massive monument to an extraordinary career. Over time, this monument has proved insufficient, so we now have this even more massive second volume. It is a gift that Shepard’s many devoted readers will take to their hearts. Weighing in at more than 300,000 words, spread across nearly 850 pages, this magisterial book brings together fourteen stories and novellas, three of which (“Aztechs,” “The Last Time,” and “Ariel”) have never been previously collected. Each of them, without exception, is worth returning to over and over again.
Lucius Shepard’s life and work took him, quite literally, to the ends of the earth, and this masterful collection reflects his restless, peripatetic nature. The volume opens with “A Traveler’s Tale,” an account of the horrors that attend the creation of a small community of outcasts on the coast of Honduras. It ends with “Dog-Eared Paperback of My Life,” a surreal account of a Conradian journey up the Mekong River, a journey that moves through multiple interpenetrating realities. In between these bookended moments, Shepard introduces us to an astonishing array of people, places, and dramatic, often horrific situations.
The Hugo Award-winning novella “Barnacle Bill the Spacer” is a powerfully written account of mutiny in deep space. “Jailbait” recounts the relationship between two lost souls adrift in the world of the hobo jungles. In “Ariel,” alien incursions and quantum physics merge in a tale of love, memory, and obsession. “Human History” posits a remote, low-tech future in which the human race is subordinate to the all-powerful Captains. “Crocodile Rock” is a tale of murder and impossible transformations set in a vividly evoked Africa. And in “Liar’s House,” Shepard adds a fascinating chapter to what may be his most iconic creation: the world of the Dragon Griaule.
Like its predecessor, The Best of Lucius Shepard, Volume Two is, quite simply, an essential book.
The limited edition is supplemented by an extraordinary bonus hardcover, Youthful Folly and Other Lost Stories, which contains an additional 400 pages of previously uncollected fiction. The result is a major addition to Shepard’s literary legacy, and a fitting memorial to a profoundly gifted writer who died much too soon.
Trade: Fully cloth bound hardcover edition
Limited: 250 numbered hardcovers with exclusive bonus hardcover collection
NOTE: the "trade" set we have listed above is in fact a PC of a limited (the number was crossed out and PC written on the limitation line) without the slipcase and extra book, so it is a leatherbound copy signed by Shepard!