cover image Strange Attraction

Strange Attraction

. Subterranean Press, $34.95 (426pp) ISBN 978-1-930595-00-2

Based on a series of sculptures and drawings by award-winning SF artist Lisa Snelling, the 24 stories in this impressive collection imagine the dark side of carnival life. In his introduction, Ellison writes of what happened when he ran away to the circus at age 13 (he ended up in jail, watching an alcoholic suffer the DTs); then contributors including Robert Sawyer, Caitlin Kieman, and Darrell Schweitzer deliver an unusual, character-rich array of weird carny stories. Charles de Lint weaves a layered tale about destiny and a ghostly Ferris wheel, for example, and Neil Gaiman cleverly imagines the travails of an unlucky Harlequin on Valentine's day. An unusual confabulation of strong writing, fantasy plot lines and artist-writer collaboration, the book--edited by Horror Writers Association vice-president Kramer--takes the corny idea of the evil clown and twists it into something uncommonly inventive. (June)