cover image Ghost Music: And Other Tales

Ghost Music: And Other Tales

Thomas Tessier. Cemetery Dance Publications, $40 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-881475-77-4

Utterly disturbing and beautifully written, these 20 stories showcase quietly spectacular literary craftsmanship. Although thoroughly modern, they are also reminiscent of the best of the classic horror tradition, with convincing characterization and suspenseful structure. These are tales of ordinary people confronted with the exceedingly extraordinary, the familiar made unnerving, reality suddenly altered. A man vacations in the mysterious eponymous country of ""Blanca"" and finds himself caught up in paranoia and an oddly repressive political system. Everyone forgets everything in ""Remember Me."" In ""The Last Crossing,"" a 50-year-old man loses his job and his bearings in life. Everyday life is surrealistically jarred, then returns to normal (if there is such a thing), in ""Nocturne."" A young composer is literally possessed by musicDor somethingDin the title tale. As in his novels (Fogheart, etc.), Tessier's prose is invariably elegant, even when adroitly portraying a transvestite street hustler and a primal biker, as in ""The Dreams of Dr. Ladybank."" This first collection of short fiction from the vastly talented author offers only more proof that he is a masterful practitioner of the art of dark fiction. (July)