The title story, "Fire." written especially for this volume, is a harrowing postapocalyptic adventure in a world threated by global conflagration. Based on Hand's real-life experience as a participant in a governmental climate change think tank, it follows a ragtag cadre of scientists and artists racing to save both civilization and themselves from fast-moving global fires.
"The Woman Men Couldn't See" is an expansion of Hand's acclaimed critical assessment of author Alice Sheldon, who wrote award-winning SF as "James Tiptree, Jr." in order to conceal identity from both the SF community and her CIA overlords. Another nonfiction piece, "Beyond Belief" recounts her difficult passage from alienated teen to serious artist.
Also included are "Kronia," a poignant time-travel romance, and "The Saffron Gatherers," two of Hand's favorite and less familiar stories. Plus: a bibliography and our candid and illuminating Outspoken Interview with one of today's most inventive authors.
About the Author
Elizabeth Hand flunked out of college a couple of years after seeing Patti Smith perform and became involved in the nascent punk scenes in DC and New York. From 1979 to 1986 she worked at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. She was eventually readmitted to university to study cultural anthropology and received her BA. She is the author of many novels, including Winterlong, Waking the Moon, Glimmering, Mortal Love, Illyria, and Radiant Days, as well as three collections of stories, including the recent Saffron and Brimstone. Her fiction has received the Nebula, World Fantasy, Mythopoeic, Tiptree, and International Horror Guild Awards, and her novels have been chosen as notable books by both the New York Times and the Washington Post. She has also been awarded a Maine Arts Commission Fellowship. A regular contributor to the Washington Post Book World and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, she lives with her family on the coast of Maine.
"Hand is an expert at building mood and atmosphere in ways that you don’t realize until you feel it around you.” —SF Signal
"A superior stylist." —New York Times Book Review
"Real enchantment . . . Elizabeth Hand's work possesses it in every word." —Francesca Lia Block, author, Love in the Time of Global Warming
"Elizabeth Hand's prose is a wiry, intelligent force that ranges from blunt athleticism to fluid luminosity." —Katherine Dunn, author, Geek Love
"A predilection for probing the translucent borderline between magic and reality . . . a beautifully nuanced, often disquieting style." —Booklist
"Elizabeth Hand is a welcome addition to the roster, and this slender volume is an easy introduction to, or quick reminder of, her special brand of narrative magic." —Michael Berry, Portland Press Herald
"I have always enjoyed the work of Elizabeth Hand, one of the finest, if not THE finest, horror stylists we’ve seen." —Andrew Andrews, truereviewonline.com
"A good writer, when writing about the arts, makes you want to experience the work of their subjects, and Hand is very good at what she does, because the whole time I was reading, I wanted to go down to my library and reread books by her subjects while taking in her observations on them." —Charles de Lint, sfsite.com
"In Hand’s writing, anything can happen . . . this book is a fine introduction to her short fiction and her theories on the craft of writing." —George Longenecker, Rain Taxi
"Whether readers are new to Hand’s work or looking for a place to start, Fire. is an indispensible roadmap to her many worlds." —Jim Ruland, San Diego City Beat