As William Faulkner once observed, "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past." And the past of the American South lives on in a long literary tradition where fantasy and reality blur. It is evident in the writing of giants such as Faulkner himself, Flannery O'Connor, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Manly Wade Wellman, Truman Capote, Alice Walker, and many others. Steeped in this tradition and proud to be its inheritors, storytellers and editors F. Brett Cox and Andy Duncan have gathered together stories of the unseen and magical American South by some of the most brilliantly talented Southern writers of our time.
From darkly imagined, powerful tales by Bret Lott, Lynn Pitts, Kalanu ya Salaam, Brad Watson, and Don Webb to a deeply affecting and sensual story by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, to atmospheric works by Richard Butner, James L. Cambias, and Jack McDevitt, to wildly funny stories by Scott Edelman and Michael Swanwick, these original fictions will delight readers who appreciate the unique wealth and breadth of the Southern literary tradition and its natural affinity for the fantastic. With the addition of wonderful reprinted stories by Michael Bishop, Fred Chappell, Andy Duncan, John Kessel, Kelly Link, Sena Jeter Naslund, Daniel Wallace, and Gene Wolfe, this collection is a crossroads of styles and themes where Southern and Fantastic literary traditions meet.
Together these stories paint a wide canvas of the real and mythic South in all its fabulous, terrible, joyous, chaotic uniqueness. They are set in all the Southern landscapes of the mind, from the shores of South Carolina to the city of New Orleans, from small-town Mississippi to the streets of modern Atlanta, from the ghosts of ante-bellum splendor to the shadows of what might be. The contributors range from realistic to Gothic, from magic realists to satirists. What they share in common is the South and the endless stories it inspires.