Dale Bailey's new collection, The End of the End of Everything, is filled with hope. As we rush headlong toward a Choose Your Own Apocalypse future, Bailey hangs back, refusing to let go of the indelible ferocity of the human heart. His stories are filled with the vibrant sound of those hearts, always beating. There is the Creature From the Black Lagoon, who is more human than any of those he meets in Hollywood; Eleanor, who works at the End-of-the-World Café, sees the depravity and despair of the Pit every day, and never gives up hope for her ailing child; and young Tom, lost in a world scorched by the sun, follows the rumor of angels still hanging on the wind.
Reminiscent of Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson, Dale Bailey mixes the macabre in with his melancholy, crafting stories that linger long after their reading. He sees a dark world that is growing darker, but he carries with him a light that refuses to go out.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- "The End of the World as We Know It"
- "The Bluehole"
- "The Creature Recants"
- "Mating Habits of the Late Cretaceous"
- "A Rumor of Angels"
- "Eating at the End-of-the-World Café"
- "Lightning Jack's Last Ride"
- "Troop 9"
- "The End of the End of Everything"
"In precise, often poetic prose, Dale Bailey lays his usual careful surface over some troubling depths. The stories in this collection range from unsettling to downright chilling, but are uniformly intelligent, incisive, resonant, and memorable. Those familiar with Bailey's work will expect no less. Those who aren't should correct that immediately. With this book. Like now."
—Karen Joy Fowler, winner of the Nebula, World Fantasy, Shirley Jackson, and Pen/Faulkner Awards
"Throughout all these fictions, however varied their subject matter or atmosphere, Bailey exhibits his compassion for and comprehension of his characters, his inerrant sense of choosing just the right words, and his determination to make all the matter of fantastika over afresh. Such a book makes one hope that our genre still has a future."
—Paul Di Filippo, Locus Magazine
"The End of the End of Everything, a new collection of nine dark fantasy and horror stories by Dale Bailey, is a book I've long been looking for—there's a wonderful clarity in the writing, a strong emotional center in each piece, fully realized characters, and as dark as these pieces get, and they get dark, Bailey, unlike a lot of his contemporaries, never forgets the humor, which makes the darkness more profound. Nine stories that will stay with you long after the reading is done."
—Jeff Ford, winner of the World Fantasy & Shirley Jackson Awards
"Here are nine gorgeously-written and closely-observed tales of ordinary people trying to hold it together when everything is falling apart. I've been a story aficionado for several decades now and I can't think of a more accomplished master of the fantastic short form. Prepare to hunt feral Girl Scouts! Pack your bags for a dinosaur safari! Invite friends to your end of the world party! Dale Bailey is the poet of the apocalypse; his stories are guaranteed to haunt you."
—James Patrick Kelly, Winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards for short fiction.
"[The End of the End of Everything] is not filled with twists or shocks, but rather a slow, winding dread. Dale's writing is smart, and it is literary in a dark genre not known for plumbing the depths of social issues nor of the greater human condition, especially while marrying a speculative slant. His stories can be quiet, abstract, even at times a bit pretentious, yet each is beautiful and meaningful—like looking upon a strange painting that provokes simultaneous feelings of aversion and enlightenment."
—Eric J. Guignard, New York Journal of Books
"These quirky stories offer a variety of twists and turns in the science fiction fantasy genre, revealing Bailey as an inventive and innovative writer well worth watching."
—Tom Lavoie, Shelf Awareness
"Bailey is one of the most powerful voices in contemporary short science fiction, merging the best tools of literary writing with a savvy genre eye, and creating stories that, in their strangeness, are personally, emotionally revelatory."
"Dale Bailey has been one of the best kept secrets of the fantasy genre for too many years. A true child of Bradbury, using language as pristine and as robust as his imagination, he writes beautiful, heartbreaking stories for our dark age. It's time everyone knew: Bailey is one of the best writers we've got."
—Nathan Ballingrud, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award and finalist for the World Fantasy Award
"No stories being written today move me like Dale Bailey's. He always roams farther than most of us dare, and returns bearing something true."