From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism



Edited by John Joseph Adams



“Dragon-slaying is an honorable death, and generally quick, from my understanding; and will legally clear your debts. Unless you would prefer to commit suicide?” he inquired.


Crystal Halloway and the Forgotten Passage

The dire bat’s headless body lay on the floor of the cave like an accusation, blackish blood still seeping from its neck. Crystal looked at it and shuddered, disgusted, before giving it a sharp kick.


Torn Away

The license was invalid by a couple of months, and the photo on it looked somewhat like him but it was faded and not reliable. I told him so. “Oh,” he said. “I should have noticed it was out of date.”


Her Lover’s Golden Hair

Lily’s hand is not resting carelessly in her lap. Lily’s sandy feet are not up on the dashboard. Lily’s salty hair is not blowing into a knotted, lovely mess.


The Swordsman Whose Name Was Not Death

Curious, he had asked the wounded man, “Did you slam into me on purpose?” People did sometimes, to provoke a fight with Richard St. Vier, the master swordsman who wouldn’t take challenges from just anyone.


Red Dawn: A Chow Mein Western

The boy felt a tingling at the tip of his fingers. He saw with his inner eye: The leader rode unarmed because his power was great. The aura of Qi around him was unmistakable.


Christopher Raven

Why had I come back to Collingswood? That was what I asked myself, standing on the path that led to the main school building, a structure built of gray stone and shadowed by oaks that had stood for a hundred years.


Seven Spells to Sever the Heart

Samuel Crewe was the son of a witch. He was, in fact, the seventh son of a witch, who had herself been one of seven daughters. In fairy tales, this sort of lineage was meant to point to great strength, good fortune, and adventures.


The Invisibles

Here’s what you do, Jerry says. You get one of those little pipe tobacco tins and you put stuff in it. Important stuff. A fingernail. Some hair. A scab. Some dirt from a special place.


Unnatural Disaster

Horizontal rain, darkness, and a nearly empty beach. Jaclyn Tadero trudged through the thick wet sand, listening to the ocean’s waves crash beside her. The Coast Guard helicopter flew overhead.