This collection of 19 horror stories, culled from the career of a writer best known for his literary science fiction, explores horror as a product of the human mind by allowing personal, political, and metaphysical obsessions to unleash terrors that beset these characters and by refusing to rely on genre-typical terrors such as serial killers and ancient curses.
The original novella "Black Pockets" depicts a hate so all-consuming that a man makes a bargain to carry out the revenge plot of a dying enemy in order to gain the power to pursue his own victims. In unusual zombie tale, "I Walked with Fidel", Fidel Castro's ideals are slowly betrayed by both Cold War superpowers. And a Kafka-like uneasiness pervades "A Piano Full of Dead Spiders", in which a composer's music actually is the result of spiders walking on piano strings.
Posing as philosophical puzzles, the stories gain emotional power from an attention to character development and the insightful investigation of both private and collective nightmares.
George Zebrowskis nearly forty books include novels, short fiction collections, anthologies, and a book of essays.
Science fiction writer Greg Bear calls him one of those rare speculators who bases his dreams on science as well as inspiration, and the late Terry Carr, one of the most influential science fiction editors of recent years, described him as an authority in the SF field. Zebrowski has published more than seventy works of short fiction and more than a hundred and forty articles and essays, and has written about science for Omni Magazine. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Amazing Stories, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Science Fiction Age, Nature, the Bertrand Russell Society News, and many other publications.