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Map of Dreams (collection)

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Map of Dreams (collection)

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Author: Mary Rickert
Publisher: Golden Gryphon Press, 2006

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Book Type: Collection
Genre: Fantasy
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Fantasy has come to be associated with a literature of escapism but M. Rickert's collection, Map of Dreams, hearkens back to the root meaning of "fantasy," from the word "phantasia" or "a making visible." Myths exist here, not as old stories, but as ancient truths about the nature of being a modern human.

There are winged creatures in these stories, and there is odd magic as well, but these serve as elementals of emotion, making apparent the inner lives of humans. There is terror, and humor, too; love and sorrow, despair and recovery -- all in a reality where dreams and nightmares do not fade away upon close inspection. Rickert's stories do not lull; they awaken.

In the title story, a near-40,000-word novella published here for the first time, Annie Merchant witnesses -- experiences -- her daughter's murder by a sniper; a random murder. Annie then vows to relive that moment, and prevent her daughter's death. She forsakes her marriage, her friends, her home, and invests body and soul into this endeavor. She studies every tome she can find at the library on physics and "curved space"; her quest eventually takes her to Australia where the everyday myths and dreams of the Aborigines become her new reality; she befriends people, from the present as well as the past, who aide her in her search for the past. But above all else, her love for her daughter gives her the strength of will to find and embrace redemption.

"Peace on Suburbia" is a different kind of Christmas story, about a different kind of Saviour; a world in which parents fear for their children's safety, and terrorism poses a threat to home and neighborhood. And in this same world -- our world! -- where our children go off to war, the story "Anyway" asks the questions: What if you could save the world?... Would you do it?

"Cold Fires," about love and obsession, which Locus magazine calls "virtuoso narrative artistry, two embedded tales conspiring to tell the story that frames them," was a finalist for the Speculative Literature Foundation's Fountain Award, and named to Locus's 2004 "Best of the Best" list.

Map of Dreams -- featuring seventeen tales plus four interstitial framing sections: Dreams, Nightmares, Waking, and Rising -- is the highly anticipated first short fiction collection from M. Rickert, heralded as "the hot new writer of the year" by David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, editors of the Year's Best anthology series. With an introduction by Christopher Barzak and an afterword by Gordon Van Gelder, editor and publisher of the prestigious The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

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