From as early as the 1970s, Michael Shea (1946-2014) distinguished himself as one of the most compelling writers of weird fiction of his generation. Now that his classic story "The Autopsy" has been adapted for television for Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities, the time is right for a full-scale assessment of Shea's work as a writer of tales of terror and the supernatural.
"The Autopsy" is one of several tales that mingles gruesomeness and science fiction. Others include "Polyphemus," where the members of a spaceship encounter the titanic eye of some unthinkably vast and hostile entity. "The Angel of Death" exhibits the battle of two alien entities as they successively inhabit hapless human beings in their quest for supremacy.
Shea's sensitivity to the downtrodden is exhibited in such tales as "The Horror on the #33," "Water of Life," and "Tollbooth," populated by homeless people, prostitutes, drug dealers, and other disdained members of society. Shea's affinity for California is shown in "Fill it with Regular," "Upscale," and other tales that bring his native state to life. As a bonus, two unpublished stories are included: "Feeding Spiders," evoking the work of a writer who adopted California as his home-Ray Bradbury; and "Ghost," where a vengeful ghost stalks the tough streets of South Boston.
Michael Shea was the author of dozens of novels and tales of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. This volume shows why his vibrant work deserves to live in the hearts and minds of weird fiction devotees.
About the Author
Michael Shea (1946-2014) was the World Fantasy Award-winning author of Nifft the Lean and The Growlimb. He was also the author of the authorized sequel to Jack Vance's Dying Earth book, The Eyes of the Overworld, The Color Out of Time (a sequel to H. P. Lovecraft's short story The Colour Out of Space), and the dark Hollywood satires The Extra and Assault on Sunrise.
In addition, his wrote many short stories for major fantasy and science fiction magazines, including Nebula and Hugo award nominees.
S.T. Joshi is the author of 'The Weird Tale' (1990), 'The Modern Weird Tale' (2001), and 'Unutterable Horror: A History of Supernatural Fiction' (2012). His award-winning biography 'H.P. Lovecraft: A Life' (1996) was later expanded as 'I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft' (2010). He has prepared editions of the work of Arthur Machen, Lord Dunsany, Algernon Blackwood, M.R. James, Ambrose Bierce, Clark Ashton Smith, and other classic authors of weird fiction, as well as the anthology 'American Supernatural Tales' (2007).