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In the deft hands of Neil Gaiman, magic is no mere illusion . . . and anything is possible. In Smoke and Mirrors, Gaiman's imagination and supreme artistry transform a mundane world into a place of terrible wonders—where an old woman can purchase the Holy Grail at a thrift store, where assassins advertise their services in the Yellow Pages under "Pest Control," and where a frightened young boy must barter for his life with a mean-spirited troll living beneath a bridge by the railroad tracks. Explore a new reality, obscured by smoke and darkness yet brilliantly tangible, in this extraordinary collection of short works by a master prestidigitator. It will dazzle your senses, touch your heart, and haunt your dreams.
From the New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman comes this collection, featuring two magical and disturbing stories lushly adapted to comics by veteran painter Michael Zulli (The Last Temptation). Rewritten by Gaiman for this graphic novel, these two ominous stories from the author's award-winning prose work Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions feature animals and people not being quite what they seem. In "The Price," a black cat like a small panther arrives at a country home and is soon beset by mysterious and vicious wounds. What is he fighting every night that could do this, and why does he persist? "The Daughter of Owls" recounts an eerie old tale of a foundling girl who was left with an owl pellet as a newborn on the steps of the Dymton Church. She was soon cloistered away in a local convent, but by her fourteenth year word of her beauty had spread—and those who would prey upon her faced unforeseen consequences.
This volume introduces a new concept to explore the dynamic relationship between folklore and popular culture: the “folkloresque.” With “folkloresque,” Foster and Tolbert name the product created when popular culture appropriates or reinvents folkloric themes, characters, and images. Such manufactured tropes are traditionally considered outside the purview of academic folklore study, but the folkloresque offers a frame for understanding them that is grounded in the discourse and theory of the discipline. Fantasy fiction, comic books, anime, video games, literature, professional storytelling and comedy, and even popular science writing all commonly incorporate elements from tradition or draw on basic folklore genres to inform their structure. Through three primary modes—integration, portrayal, and parody—the collection offers a set of heuristic tools for analysis of how folklore is increasingly used in these commercial and mass-market contexts. The Folkloresque challenges disciplinary and genre boundaries; suggests productive new approaches for interpreting folklore, popular culture, literature, film, and contemporary media; and encourages a rethinking of traditional works and older interpretive paradigms. Contributors: Trevor J. Blank, Chad Buterbaugh, Bill Ellis, Timothy H. Evans, Michael Dylan Foster, Carlea Holl-Jensen, Greg Kelley, Paul Manning, Daniel Peretti, Gregory Schrempp, Jeffrey A. Tolbert
Come, come and hear of the strange and terrible tale of Miss Finch, an exacting woman befallen by mystery and abduction deep under the streets of London! New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman delivers another stunning hardcover graphic novel with longtime collaborator Michael Zulli (Creatures of the Night, The Sandman). This is the first comics adaptation of his popular story "The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch," which saw print only in the U.K. edition of Gaiman’s award-winning work Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions and was recently interpreted for his Speaking in Tongues CD. The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch is a "mostly true story" that combines the author’s trademark magic realism with Zulli’s sumptuous paintings, and has been newly rewritten for this hardcover. Join a group of friends, with the stern Miss Finch in tow, as they enter musty caverns for a subterranean circus spectacle called "The Theatre of Night’s Dreaming." Come inside, get out of the pounding rain, and witness this strange world of vampires, ringmasters, illusions and the Cabinet of Wishes Fulfill’d.
This critical work diversifies Victor Turner’s concept of liminality, a basic category of postmodernism, in which distinct categories and hierarchies are questioned and limits erode. Liminality involves an oscillation between cultural institutions, genre conventions, narrative perspectives, and thematic binary oppositions. Grounded on this notion, the text investigates the liminality in Agatha Christie’s detective fiction, Neil Gaiman’s fantasy stories, and Stanislaw Lem’s and Philip K. Dick’s science fiction. Through an examination of destabilized norms, this analysis demonstrates that liminality is a key element in the changing trends of fantastic texts.
IN this star-studded cross-genre anthology, seventeen of the greatest modern authors of fantasy, science fiction, and romance explore the borderlands of their genres with brand-new tales of ill-fated love. From zombie-infested woods in a postapocalyptic America to faery-haunted rural fields in eighteenth- century England, from the kingdoms of high fantasy to the alien world of a galaxy-spanning empire, these are stories of lovers who must struggle against the forces of magic and fate. Award-winning, bestselling author Neil Gaiman demonstrates why he’s one of the hottest stars in literature today with “The Thing About Cassandra,” a subtle but chilling story of a man who meets an old girlfriend he had never expected to see. International blockbuster bestselling author Diana Gabaldon sends a World War II RAF pilot through a stone circle to the time of her Outlander series in “A Leaf on the Winds of All Hallows.” Torn from all he knows, Jerry MacKenzie determinedly survives hardship and danger, intent on his goal of returning home to his wife and baby—no matter the cost. New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher presents “Love Hurts,” in which Harry Dresden takes on one of his deadliest adversaries and in the process is forced to confront the secret desires of his own heart. Just the smallest sampling promises unearthly delights, but look also for stories by New York Times bestselling romance authors Jo Beverley and Mary Jo Putney, and by such legends of the fantasy genre as Peter S. Beagle and Tanith Lee, as well as many other popular and beloved writers, including Marjorie M. Liu, Jacqueline Carey, Carrie Vaughn, and Robin Hobb. This exquisite anthology, crafted by the peerless editing team of George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, is sure to leave you under its spell. Discover the many realms of the heart with this extraordinary cast of acclaimed authors: PETER S. BEAGLE JO BEVERLEY JIM BUTCHER JACQUELINE CAREY DIANA GABALDON NEIL GAIMAN YASMINE GALENORN M.L.N. HANOVER ROBIN HOBB CECELIA HOLLAND TANITH LEE MARJORIE M. LIU MARY JO PUTNEY LINNEA SINCLAIR MELINDA SNODGRASS LISA TUTTLE CARRIE VAUGHN
In his latest book, fairy tales expert Jack Zipes explores the question of why some fairy tales "work" and others don't, why the fairy tale is uniquely capable of getting under the skin of culture and staying there. Why, in other words, fairy tales "stick." Long an advocate of the fairy tale as a serious genre with wide social and cultural ramifications, Jack Zipes here makes his strongest case for the idea of the fairy tale not just as a collection of stories for children but a profoundly important genre. Why Fairy Tales Stick contains two chapters on the history and theory of the genre, followed by case studies of famous tales (including Cinderella, Snow White, and Bluebeard), followed by a summary chapter on the problematic nature of traditional storytelling in the twenty-first century.

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