cover image Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

Neil Gaiman. Morrow, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-233026-0

Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane) again delivers masterful compositions and style in his third collection. His decision to include poetry is vindicated by the concrete images in "Making a Chair" and the mournful tones of "Witch Work." Among the prose pieces are two works of stark horror: " 'The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains...' " and "My Last Landlady." The experimental "ORANGE" and the collected internet project "A Calendar of Tales" represent the rewards of Gaiman's fearlessness in storytelling. He also includes shared-world tales, revisiting Sherlock Holmes in "The Case of Death and Honey" and Doctor Who in "Nothing O'Clock." In "Kether to Malkuth" Gaiman creates a new mythology with the flavor of science fiction, while "The Sleeper and the Spindle" is a delightful fusion fairytale that subverts tropes and creates a new sense of wonder. Both enthusiasts of short fiction and fans of Gaiman's longer works may approach this volume with confidence. Full of small and perfect jewel-like tales, this collection is a thrilling treasure. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Feb.)