Last Summer at Mars Hill and Other Short Stories
This is Elizabeth Hand's long-awaited collection of short stories, centered around her Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning novella The Last Summer at Mars Hill. There are 12 pieces in all here, ranging from those first published in places like Interzone and Pulphouse to a two-page poem taken from the pages of Asimov's. Although many readers may be familiar with Hand's longer works, such as Glimmering or Waking the Moon, here she shows that she's a master of short fiction as well. Her stylish prose and keen insights make for some wonderful stories. --Craig E. Engler
• “Last Summer at Mars Hill” copyright © 1994 by Elizabeth Hand. First appeared in Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1994.
• “The Erl King” copyright © 1993 by Elizabeth Hand. First appeared in Full Spectrum 4, edited by Lou Aronica, et al.
• “Justice” copyright © 1993 by Elizabeth Hand. First appeared in Fantasy and Science Fiction, July 1993.
• “Dionysus Dendrites” © 1993 by Elizabeth Hand. First appeared in Isaac Asimov’s Magazine of Science Fiction, June 1993.
• “The Have-Nots” © 1992 by Elizabeth Hand. First appeared in Isaac Asimov’s Magazine of Science Fiction, June 1992.
• “In the Month of Athyr” © 1992 by Elizabeth Hand. First appeared in Omni’s Best Science Fiction Two, edited by Ellen Datlow.
• “Eagels Unaware” © 1992 by Elizabeth Hand. First appeared in Interzone, December 1992.
• “The Bacchae” © 1991 by Elizabeth Hand. First appeared in Interzone, July 1991.
• “Snow on Sugar Mountain” © 1991 by Elizabeth Hand. First appeared in Full Spectrum 3, edited by Lou Aronica, et al.
• “On the Town Route” © 1989 by Elizabeth Hand. First appeared in Pulphouse, Fall 1989.
• “The Boy in the Tree” © 1989 by Elizabeth Hand. First appeared in Full Spectrum 2, edited by Lou Aronica and Shawna McCarthy.
• “Prince of Flowers” © 1988 by Elizabeth Hand. First appeared in Twilight Zone, February 1988.
letters spelled PLANES, PLANETS, PLANS. Following this were pages of numerical equations, sketches, a crude drawing labeled THE AIR DIGGER ROCKET SHAPE. “They’re plans for a rocket ship,” said Howell. He craned his. neck so he could see. “You’re kidding.” Andrew turned the brittle pages. “Did they build it?” “Christ, no! I worked it out once. If you were to build the Margalis Planets Plane it would be seven miles long.” He laughed silently. Andrew turned to a page covered with zeros. “Math,”
effect. I breathed deeply and stared at the wall, then reported on my unsuccessful session with the poet. That evening I walked to the riverside. A trio of security sculls silently plied the river. At my feet water striders gracelessly mimicked them. I caught a handful of the insects and dropped them on the crumbling macadam at water’s edge, watched them jerk and twitch with crippled stepladder legs as they fought the hard skin of gravel and sand. Then I turned and wandered along the river walk,
thanks.” She let her breath out in a wheeze and tried to stand up straight. Rain battered the heavy glass walls as the elevator began to slip down the side of the building. Rebecca cleared her throat. “No one ever takes this one, you know. You’re the only person I’ve ever seen in it besides me.” Mr. Lancaster adjusted the fleece-lined collar of his trenchcoat and smiled. “I prefer my own company at the end of a busy day. As I imagine you must as well, Miss Strunk.” Rebecca nodded eagerly,
delighted at being addressed as Miss Strunk. “Oh, yes, Mr. Lancaster! It’s such a nice view—” And she turned to press her cheek against the cold glass and stare out at the steel canyons awash with reflected light. Mr. Lancaster looked at her more closely for this unguarded moment, noting the broken heel and missing button, as well as the dangling slip that Rebecca herself had yet to discover. Then he took a step closer to the glass wall, nodding as he surveyed the shining frieze of scarlet and
lavender skidding across the floor, then cried out as he rolled to one side and felt the glass shatter beneath him, the slivers of breath-spun fins and gills and tail slicing through his side. He saw Olivia, her face serene, her liquid eyes full of ardor as she turned to the girl beside her and took from her something that gleamed like silver in the moonlight, like pure and icy water, like a spar of broken glass. Gordon started to scream when she knelt between his thighs. Before he fainted he saw