Black Pockets: And Other Dark Thoughts

Overview

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 ...

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Black Pockets: And Other Dark Thoughts

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
While genre icon George Zebrowski may be best known for his science fiction works "of Stapledonian magnitude" (as described by Howard Waldrop in the collection's foreword) -- Macrolife, Brute Orbits, Cave of Stars, et al. -- he is also an accomplished horror writer. Black Pockets and Other Dark Thoughts is not only Zebrowski's first-ever compilation of horror stories, it's one of the most thematically diverse and profoundly thought-provoking collections of speculative fiction to come along in years.

The book is divided into three sections -- Personal, Political, and Metaphysical -- which include stories about individual terrors, societal horrors, and (according to Waldrop) "stories that should scare the whole goddamn human race." Noteworthy selections include "I Walked with Fidel," a story about a deposed and terminally ill Castro continuing life as a glassy-eyed zombie; and "The Coming of Christ the Joker," which chronicles the Second Coming of Jesus as he suddenly materializes on The Larry King Show and discusses the "bureaucratization of ethics" with King and fellow guest Gore Vidal. A troubled executive with a bizarre sleeping disorder confronts her deepest fears in "Jumper," and "A Piano Full of Dead Spiders" explores the increasingly disturbed mind of a renowned pianist as he searches for his lost creative spark.

As if the 19 stories included in Black Pockets and Other Dark Thoughts weren't enough, the spectacular cover art by legendary artist Bob Eggleton makes this limited-run short story collection an absolutely essential addition to the libraries of horror and science fiction fans alike. Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
Veteran SF author Zebrowski (Macrolife) probes the nether reaches of horror in this outstanding story collection. Spanning three decades and divided into "Personal Terrors," "Political Horrors" and "Metaphysical Fears," these 19 disturbing tales treat "the greatest horrors that dwell inside us," or what Zebrowski calls "our jailed innards." From "The Wish in the Fear," a story of heartbreak and alienation, through "The Soft Terrible Music," a searing portrait of the fate of dissidents, to the soul-shaking "Interpose," a wholly new look at Jesus Christ, Zebrowski treats the psychological enigma of the look-alike Other-or perhaps what he calls "the fault in us" responsible for mankind's crimes. Clearly displayed also is Zebrowski's deep sympathy for the underdog, whether the starving Polish zoo animals in his ferocious allegory "General Jarulzelski at the Zoo" or the helpless female trapped by her reproductive system in "First Love, First Fear." The title story sums up humanity's Faustian fascination with power, forcing those fearful glimpses into what we all would rather not see: ourselves. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781930846401
  • Publisher: Golden Gryphon Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.14 (d)

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