From our parents we learn how to use forks and knives, but we ask books the darker questions we have. They are abrasive friends, friends that kick and scratch and bite and force us to think past what we expected and wished for. We also realize that every story leaves a multitude of stories untold. Whatever happened to the ferryman in the Brothers’ Grimm “The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs”? What happened to Red Schuhart after finding the Golden Sphere? What did the woman in the dunes think about Niki Jumpei that first evening down in her house? How would Lady Brett Ashley have written about the fiesta?
The sixteen stories collected in this anthology demonstrate that originality springs from listening closely to previous generations of authors. Some of the best contemporary writers take classic tales as their points of departure, to venture into completely new territory and arrive at unforeseen destinations. The methods, treatments, and styles differ greatly. Every story is distinct.