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Attack of the Jazz Giants: and Other Stories

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This collection of 14 stories from a Nebula, Hugo, Tiptree, International Horror Guild, and World Fantasy Award finalist takes the reader on a wonderful and nightmarish journey. Beginning with a midnight odyssey to a shadowland where vehicles feast on vagrants, this compilation includes stories in which Poe's final days are revealed, factory workers are exploited by an apparition of the Virgin Mary, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart pinwheels through the corridors of time. Also included is a tale of an apocalyptic ...

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Overview

This collection of 14 stories from a Nebula, Hugo, Tiptree, International Horror Guild, and World Fantasy Award finalist takes the reader on a wonderful and nightmarish journey. Beginning with a midnight odyssey to a shadowland where vehicles feast on vagrants, this compilation includes stories in which Poe's final days are revealed, factory workers are exploited by an apparition of the Virgin Mary, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart pinwheels through the corridors of time. Also included is a tale of an apocalyptic entity that hides in a Ukranian village, a contemplation on the horror that dwells in Jack the Ripper's pocket watch, and a brand-new novella that combines an interplanetary road story with more than a dash of Flash Gordon. Behind-the-stories notes by the author are also included.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mr. Frost is both merciless and artful."  —The New York Times Book Review

"Attack of the Jazz Giants is a notable collection, likely to stand as one of the best of 2005."  —Locus Magazine

"A highly entertaining collection, and one with definite promise for the future."  —Emerald City 

Publishers Weekly
Frost (Fitcher's Brides) demonstrates his mastery of the short story form in what will surely rank as one of the best fantasy collections of the year. These 14 well-crafted tales, each illustrated by Jason Van Hollander, take a sympathetic, often witty but always unsparing look at humanity. "Madonna of the Maquiladora" highlights the injustice of godless big business using religion to control the masses. Sorrow, anger and surrealistic allegory merge in "Collecting Dust," in which a child attempts to keep his dysfunctional family from its doom. Turning genre on its head with brio, "A Day in the Life of Justin Argento Morrel" wickedly subverts the space mission tale. "The Road to Recovery," a previously unpublished novella, amusingly mixes a Hope-Crosby road movie with space opera. In the title story, Frost turns Horace Walpole's Prince Manfred into a Southern racist upon whose Castle of Otranto-like plantation rain jazz instruments of destruction. "In the Sunken Museum" nightmarishly explains Poe's last days, while "From Hell Again" finds horror in Jack the Ripper's pocket watch. Karen Joy Fowler's foreword and John Kessel's afterword round out this excellent collection. Agent, Martha Millard. (June 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Stories of the absurd and obscene flirt with fantasy, science fiction and even, occasionally, reality-in a collection made up of Frost's published work since the late 1980s. Though some pieces are just passable or merely workmanlike, there are a few gems here worth highlighting. In "A Day in the Life of Justin Argento Morrel," for instance, Frost demonstrates that he can put together an excellent lost-in-space scenario and give it a psychosexual kick, while "Touring Jesusworld"-about an unpopular theme park built by a man desperate to educate people about the factual inaccuracies of their faith-has the feel of an angry young Harlan Ellison (few higher compliments). With "Collecting Dust," about the slow and horrific dissolution of a middle-class family, Frost offers an impressive portrait of suburban ennui that's almost more pungently haunting in its hewing to strict reality than any of his more outre pieces. Frost can be quite funny, but when he tries too hard for black comedy, the strain shows, as with "The Girlfriends of Dorian Gray." One of the star turns, however, is the title story, a mix of a love of early jazz with Walpole's The Castle of Otranto. The result is a steamy gothic about a 1920s plantation owner who, with a penchant for branding blacks caught unawares, gets a sweet and strange sort of revenge visited upon him in the form of a new type of music and some massive musical instruments (read to believe). Meanwhile, Frost occasionally gets lost in the baffling twists and turns of his invented realities, but his smart sense of history (cunningly deployed in several pieces) and unpretentious storytelling end up carrying the day. From jazz greats to Jesus: overall, a rarefantasy collection that has far more highs than lows.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781930846340
  • Publisher: Golden Gryphon Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory Frost is the author of the novels Fitcher's Brides, The Pure Cold Light, and a number of stories that have appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, and Whispers, as well as in anthologies such as Intersections and The Best New Horror Collections. He lives in Merion, Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

The girlfriends of Dorian Gray 3
Madonna of the maquiladora 25
Collecting dust 57
The bus 75
A day in the life of Justin Argento Morrel 89
Divertimento 119
Attack of the jazz giants 133
Some things are better left 149
Lizaveta 173
In the sunken museum 201
Touring Jesusworld 221
The road to recovery 233
From hell again 289
How Meersh the bedeviler lost his toes 311
Afterword : the damned human race 341
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2005

    Frost does it all

    Okay, I'm biased -- I've met him, and he's intelligent, funny, and socially engaged. This collection of stories has something for everyone: SF, fantasy, horror, comedy, and every possible combination of those elements. His wide range might not satisfy someone who wants a collection of stories restricted to only one universe, whether Tolkein's or Frank Herbert's, but it insure that there's something for everyone, written in uniformly high quality. I'm going to read anything else he publishes.

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