cover image Dreams of Distant Shores

Dreams of Distant Shores

Patricia A. McKillip. Tachyon, $15.95 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-61696-218-0

McKillip (Wonders of the Invisible World), winner of the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, collects nine dazzling shorter pieces (both originals and reprints) in this outstanding collection. The brief, creepy “Weird” opens the volume, merging an oddly romantic picnic in a bathroom and a mysterious threat outside into something that exists in a darkly beautiful interstitial place. The longest piece, “Something Rich and Strange,” which appeared originally as a standalone novella in Brian Froud’s Faerielands series, is an ecological fairy tale that contains the most gorgeous of McKillip’s prose (“her blind stare of pearl and wormwood”)—and the weakest of her plots, but even weaker McKillip is well worth reading. The newer stories also shine. “Mer” is a small gem about a nameless witch, a fishing village, and a mermaid statue. “Edith and Henry Go Motoring” features a toll bridge that leads travelers on an unexpected journey. Beyond the short fiction, the volume finishes with an essay on writing high fantasy, and an appreciation of McKillip’s work by renowned fantasist Peter S. Beagle. Fans of exquisite prose and ethereal fantasy will need to own this. (June)