Recently I’ve talked at length (or “droned on and on,” as a few friendly readers have commented) about wandering through the Dealer’s Room at the World Fantasy Convention and discovering the splendid books produced by many of the most dynamic and exciting small press publishers in the industry, including Valancourt, Hippocampus Press, Chizine, Prime Books, Taychon Press, and many more.
Of course, the Dealer’s Room isn’t the only way to discover fabulous new titles. Another is to talk to your fellow attendees and see what they recommend. Or you can attend the marvelous reading series put on by the convention. Or if you’re very lucky — as I was with Helen Marshall — you can do both. After hearing multiple rave review of her second collection, Gifts for the One Who Comes After, from panelists, authors, and fellow attendees, I was able to change my schedule at the last minute and slip into Helen’s reading — where I was thoroughly delighted. I dashed down to the Dealer’s Room and bought her book immediately. She is a major new talent, and you should investigate her work as soon as possible. I know I am.
Ghost thumbs. Microscopic dogs. One very sad can of tomato soup.
Helen Marshall’s second fiction collection offers a series of twisted surrealities that explore the legacies we pass on to our children. A son seeks to reconnect with his father through a telescope that sees into the past. A young girl discovers what lies on the other side of her mother’s bellybutton. Death’s wife prepares herself for a very special funeral.
In Gifts for the One Who Comes After, Marshall delivers seventeen tales of love and loss shot through with a profound sense of wonder. Dazzling, disturbing, and deeply moving.
Gifts for the One Who Comes After was published by ChiZine Publications on September 16, 2014. It is 268 pages, priced at $16.99 in trade paperback, and $9.99 for the digital version. The cover art is by Erik Mohr.