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Errantry: Strange Stories Paperback – November 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Small Beer Press (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1618730304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1618730305
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Elizabeth Hand, a New York Times notable author, has written eight novels and several short-story collections. Her novel Generation Loss received the Shirley Jackson Award. She has also received the James Tiptree Award, the Nebula Award (twice), the World Fantasy Award (four times), and many others. Her novella, “The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon,” was recently nominated for a Hugo Award. Hand is a longtime contributor to numerous publications, including the Washington Post Book World and the Village Voice Literary Supplement. She divides her time between the coast of Maine and North London.

More About the Author

A couple of years after seeing Patti Smith perform, Elizabeth Hand flunked out of college and became involved in the nascent punk scenes in DC and NYC. From 1979 to 1986 she worked at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air & Space Museum; she was eventually readmitted to university to study cultural anthropology, and received her B.A. She is the author of many novels, including Winterlong, Waking the Moon (Tiptree and Mythopoeic Award-Winner), Glimmering, and Mortal Love, and three collections of stories, including the recent Saffron and Brimstone. Her fiction has received the Nebula, World Fantasy, Mythopeoic, Tiptree, and International Horror Guild Awards, and her novels have been chose as New York Times and Washington Post Notable Books. 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, Hand lives with her family on the Maine Coast.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
I am in love with her haunting & lyrically visual style.
Postmoderna
Good as this one is, and it is very, very good, it still does not rise to the heights of Hand's MORTAL LOVE.
Peggy
Recommended for fans of her work and for fans of short fiction.
cdoyle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Stefan VINE VOICE on November 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
There's a lovely scene in "Errantry," the title story of Elizabeth Hand's newest collection of short fiction, in which a character finds a print of a painting she loved as a child and describes what she used to imagine about the world it depicts: "A sense of immanence and urgency, of simple things [...] charged with an expectant, slightly sinister meaning I couldn't grasp but still felt, even as a kid."

It's probably not a coincidence that the same painting graces the cover of the book, because that quote is a perfect way to encapsulate the atmosphere of many of the "Strange Stories" in Errantry. The magic in Elizabeth Hand's short fiction can usually be found at its edges, just slightly out of reach. It's there for a moment, but it's hard to see without squinting. If you blink, it might be gone--but you'd never lose the sense that it's still there, pushing in on reality from the outside.

These are stories of the overwhelmingly mystical breaking into our world in small, almost unnoticeable ways, seen from the point of view of the few people who get to witness those minor intrusions and who then have to try and process their meanings. The subtlety is deceptive: there's something huge going on, but it's as if we and these characters are peeking at it through a keyhole, only seeing a small glimpse of what's on the other side and only being hit by a small portion of the light it sheds. The suggestion that that door may open further is only part of what gives these stories their "slightly sinister" atmosphere.

The nature of Elizabeth Hand's characters contributes to that edge. The people who experience those vague, confusing hints of magic are usually slightly broken individuals, often coping with a major change of life or about to experience one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul Witcover on November 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
This new collection from Elizabeth Hand does not disappoint. All the elements that make Hand's novels so memorable are present in these stories, only in concentrated form. Here are characters wrestling with age and loss and desire, whose lives are upended by irruptions of the fantastic -- strange and often frightening intrusions that have the capacity to redeem or to destroy. In the chilling "Near Zennor," a grieving husband finds a collection of old letters from his deceased wife . . . which lead him on an eerie trip into a haunted past. In the extraordinary, dreamlike "Summerteeth," old lovers meet up at an artist's colony where nothing and no one are as they seem. And in the searing title story -- reminsicent of her Cass Neary mysteries its sudden flashes of a horror all too real and of this world--a group of slacker knights errant encounter a modern-day ogre.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nightwing Whitehead on December 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
In Errantry, the latest book by Elizabeth Hand, we are presented with ten distinctly unique stories. Every one of these odd little tales draws you in and doesn't ever really let you go again. From the tale of a man who folds pages from magazines and fast food wrappers into works of art that evoke the oldest of memories, to a singular observation of creatures who only exist for any two people at one time, these are stories every bit as dangerous as any of Ms. Hand's novels. Once you have read a single one of them, you will never be able to view life in that same way ever again. And you will return again and again, to explore more fully each of the worlds she has introduced you to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By WitchyWoman on January 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
Elizabeth Hand never fails to please me. This is a collection of her short stories that have been published elsewhere over the years, but don't let that put you off. This is a well thought out, highly desirable collection of stories, that I found utterly captivating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cdoyle on February 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Elizabeth Hand is at the top of her game with this collection. The description on the product page says that no one in the book is innocent, but I found that to be inaccurate. Instead, I would say that in these tales innocence fails to provide protection.

The stories range from whimsical to dark, but all are written in her distinctive style. Most contain elements of the unexplained, and Hand is unapologetic about leaving it that way. She wields language the way a surgeon uses a scalpel, carving details with words to make an ultimately unsettling but satisfying whole. Recommended for fans of her work and for fans of short fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. S. Musial on February 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started my acquaintance with Ms. Hand with her first novel, Winterlong. I fell out of touch with her in the years in between, but what a wonderful work to come back to! This book has something for almost every fan of fantasy, but specializes in the peculiar dreamlike quality that first attracted me to this author. A reality strange beyond the waking imagination, yet seeming totally normal while you're still wrapped up in the dream. Brava!
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