cover image Attack of the Jazz Giants and Other Stories

Attack of the Jazz Giants and Other Stories

Gregory Frost, .. Golden Gryphon, $24.95 (344pp) ISBN 978-1-930846-34-0

Frost (Fitcher's Brides ) demonstrates his mastery of the short story form in what will surely rank as one of the best fantasy collections of the year. These 14 well-crafted tales, each illustrated by Jason Van Hollander, take a sympathetic, often witty but always unsparing look at humanity. "Madonna of the Maquiladora" highlights the injustice of godless big business using religion to control the masses. Sorrow, anger and surrealistic allegory merge in "Collecting Dust," in which a child attempts to keep his dysfunctional family from its doom. Turning genre on its head with brio, "A Day in the Life of Justin Argento Morrel" wickedly subverts the space mission tale. "The Road to Recovery," a previously unpublished novella, amusingly mixes a Hope-Crosby road movie with space opera. In the title story, Frost turns Horace Walpole's Prince Manfred into a Southern racist upon whose Castle of Otranto–like plantation rain jazz instruments of destruction. "In the Sunken Museum" nightmarishly explains Poe's last days, while "From Hell Again" finds horror in Jack the Ripper's pocket watch. Karen Joy Fowler's foreword and John Kessel's afterword round out this excellent collection. Agent, Martha Millard . (June 1)