cover image Amberjack: Tales of Fear & Wonder

Amberjack: Tales of Fear & Wonder

Terry Dowling, Subterranean (, $40 (368p) ISBN 978-1-59606-293-1

Dowling's newest collection (after 2006's Basic Black: Tales of Appropriate Fear) highlights his rich and complex sideways storytelling with 12 stories that run the speculative fiction gamut. "The Magikkers" gently explores the lives of the fortunate few who possess a small spark of magic in a mundane world. In "Flashmen," competing rescue teams risk annihilation in a savage landscape. "Toother" and "The Suits at Auderlene" are creepy and cruel, but "Truth Window," set in the universe of the Wormwood story cycle, finds humanity shining even in slavery. Dowling's terse and enigmatic style is subtle and brain stretching, enticing readers with fully realized worlds that clearly extend far beyond each story's boundaries. Insightful afterwords complete the sensation of being transported someplace truly alien by Dowling's intelligent and thoughtful work. (July)