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Partial Eclipse and Other Stories.
By Graham Joyce.
Signed Limited No. 33 / 1,250 copoies
At the end of Xenos Beach, a signature story in this collection of effectively subtle fantasies, a traveler reflects on his erotically charged dalliance with a mystical local woman and wonders "if he had narrowly escaped something deeply dangerous; or if he had forfeited some experience transcendent and beautiful." His thoughts articulate the spirit of tentative strangeness that snakes stealthily through these 10 stories and heaves up both exquisite ambiguities and troubling uncertainties in its wake. In "Under the Pylon," a boy's disappearance while playing on an electrical transformer suggests his absorption into currents of change forcing the sexual and social maturation of his teenage friends. Pinkland tells of a liaison formed over the Internet that becomes increasingly weird and upsetting when the two e-friends decide to meet and shed their virtual personas. In the book's most powerful story, the haunting "Leningrad Nights," an orphan's struggle to keep himself, a prostitute and her newborn child alive during the Nazi siege plays out in a landscape rendered otherworldly by opium dreams and Christian religious symbolism. British writer Joyce (Smoking Poppy) draws the reader into his stories with a chummy, conversational style that makes it just as easy to believe in marvels he excavates from the squalor of inner cities as wonders he pursues in exotic foreign lands. Though several of the stories compromise their enchantments with unpersuasive rationalizations, most confidently conjure unexplained mysteries as deliciously enigmatic to the reader as to the characters. -- Publishers Weekly.
OVERVIEW: Graham Joyce, author of Requiem, Indigo, and other award winning novels, has written some of the most indelible fiction of the past ten years. His work is intelligent, provocative, and utterly unpredictable, and has won him a devoted following on both sides of the Atlantic. Subterranean Press now proudly presents Graham's first collection of shorter fiction: Partial Eclipse, a hugely entertaining volume that features an impressive variety of styles, subjects, and narrative modes.
The stories and novellas gathered here range from wartime England to Leningrad under the siege, from the coal mines of Coventry to the hallucinatory beauty of the Greek islands. Some of the stories (Gap Sickness, The Careperson) utilize overtly science fictional premises. Some (Under the Pylon, Black Dust) recall the overall ambience of The Tooth Fairy, Graham's unforgettable portrait of adolescent rites of passage. Others, such as Candia and Xenos Beach, are accounts of magical, erotic, and dangerous encounters in exotic ports of call. And some of the stories transcend all traditional categories. One of these is the unforgettable novella, Leningrad Nights, a story of suffering and survival in a frozen, surreal city ruled by -the blind justice of the Whistling Shell.
Partial Eclipse is a book of dark, disturbing, sometimes beautiful dreams. It is also, as the extraordinary title story tells us, a book about the primal importance of dreaming. For admirers of Graham Joyce's novels, this is an indispensable volume. For those who have yet to discover his work, it is a varied, elegant introduction to one of the singular dreamers of our time.
2003 Sub. Press signed limited hardcover. Fine condition. For complete archival protection the DJ is sealed in an acid-free protective book cover upon publication, and then sealed in plastic for final protection.
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