Dust jacket illustration by Matt Mahurin.
George R. R. Martin once wrote of Tom Reamy that he “brought to his first efforts such a store of talent, keen observation, and knowledge of humanity that he seemed to spring into being as a major writer full-bloom.” For his sensitively rendered yet darkly gnawing fiction Reamy has been compared to Ray Bradbury, Theodore Sturgeon, Richard Matheson and Jack Finney.
Gathered here for the first time is all of Reamy’s professional short fiction, including two previously uncollected pieces: the story “M is for the Millions” and the screenplay “Sting!”, as well as a previously unpublished novella.
Reamy sold his first two stories, “Beyond the Cleft” and “Twilla,” to Harry Harrison and Damon Knight respectively—on the same day in 1973. “San Diego Lightfoot Sue” earned Reamy the 1975 Nebula for Best Novelette, and, following more nominations, Reamy won the 1976 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Tragically, he died at the age of forty-two in late 1977; his posthumously published novel, Blind Voices, garnered further acclaim. George R. R. Martin noted that, along with John Varley, Reamy was one of “the two most important new writers of the Seventies,” and this definitive retrospective of Reamy’s supernova career showcases why.
Ranging from the survivalist science fiction of “Dinosaurs” and “2076: Blue Eyes” to the undeniable horrors of the eponymous story and “The Detweiler Boy,” these dark, consistently seductive tales by a mercurial fantasist easily shift from urban noir to rural romance, from private eyes to cosmic fears, from creature features to slice-of-life, from bittersweet realism to existential slipstream.
Closing out the collection, in what Subterranean Press might irreverently call the pièce de réamysistance, is that long-awaited, never-before-published novella “Potiphee, Petey, and Me,” penned more than 45 years ago and now exclusively available in this volume. Offbeat, disturbing and prescient, it conclusively brings to the fore why, no matter where we might be reading from, we’re all living Under the Hollywood Sign.
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Limited: 750 numbered hardcover copies