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Mary Rickert


Bread and Bombs

Mary Rickert

This short story originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, April 2003. It can also be found in the anthologies Year's Best SF 9 (2004), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Kramer, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collection (2004), edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant, Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse (2008), edited by John Joseph Adams, and Twenty-First Century Science Fiction (2013), edited by David G. Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden. The story is included in the collection Map of Dreams (2006).

Read the full story for free at the Baen website, or at John Joseph Adams' website.

Cold Fires

Mary Rickert

This short story was originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Sciene Fiction October-November 2004. It is also included in the antholgy The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror: Eighteenth Annual Collection (2005) edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant and can be found in the collections Map of Dreams (2006) and You Have Never Been Here: New and Selected Stories (2015).

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment: One Daughter's Personal Account

Mary Rickert

BSFA, Stoker, and Shirley Jackson Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October-November 2008. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Three (2009), edited by Jonathan Strahan, and Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories (2011), edited by John Joseph Adams. It is included in the collection Holiday (2010).

Holiday

Mary Rickert

This short story originally appeared in Subterranean, Issue #7 (2007). It can also be found in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Two (2008), edited by Jonathan Strahan, and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Twenty-First Annual Collection (2008), edited by Gavin J. Grant, Kelly Link and Ellen Datlow. It is included in the collections Holiday (2010) and You Have Never Been Here: New and Selected Stories (2015).

Holiday

Mary Rickert

This mysterious, holiday-themed collection starts off, of course, with New Year's Day and "Memoir of a Deer Woman," where a woman's transformation into a deer is a metaphor for her struggle and acceptance of terminal cancer. Valentine's Day is celebrated with a "Journey into the Kingdom," winner of the World Fantasy Award, where a young, lonely girl falls in love with a ghost. A May wedding in "The Machine" is a tale of innocence lost and terrible revenge, a story not for the faint of heart. Mother's Day brings us a not-so-sweet tale set in the near future where women who have had abortions are punished, in "Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment One Daughter's Personal Account." Even if you lost a son and gain a wolf, it's still Father's Day in "Don't Ask"--just be sure you fill the water bowl! No Independence Day celebration is complete unless you tell the tale of a "Traitor," or in this case a nine-year-old girl that doesn't want to do what Mommy wants her to do. When the heat is summer is upon us, it's best to leave the garden fairies alone, or at least not torture them, or suffer the fate of the little girl in "Was She Wicked? Was She Good?" A surreal Halloween story, "You Have Never Been Here," leaves one wondering if it was all a dream, in a tight, tension-filled mystery. A Vietnam veteran is featured for Veteran's Day, in "War is Beautiful." Tortured by his term in Vietnam, a solder befriends a local Vietnamese girl--or is she a ghost? The collection ends with a Halloween to Christmas tale, "The Christmas Witch," where all the children of a town collect bones, and the darker side of childhood is told.

These eleven tales will lead to eerie, mysterious, and downright creepy visions of little girls and their secret thoughts, imaginations, and capabilities.

Table of Contents:

Journey into the Kingdom

Mary Rickert

WFA winning and Nebula nominated novelette. It first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May 2006. It was anthologized in Jonathan Strahan's The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume One, Rich Horton's Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2007 Edition and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007: Twentieth Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow, Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link. It was also included in the collections Holiday (2010) and You Have Never Been Here: New and Selected Stories (2014).

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Map of Dreams

Mary Rickert

WFA nominated novella. It originally appeared in the collection Map of Dreams (2006).

Map of Dreams (collection)

Mary Rickert

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.

Table of Contents:

  • Who Is M. Rickert? - essay by Christopher Barzak
  • Map of Dreams
  • Dreaming of the Sun
  • Leda - (2002)
  • Cold Fires - (2004)
  • Angel Face - (2000)
  • Night Blossoms
  • Feeding the Beast
  • Bread and Bombs - (2003)
  • Art Is Not a Violent Subject - (2004)
  • Anyway - (2005)
  • A Very Little Madness Goes a Long Way - (2005)
  • What I Saw, When I Looked
  • The Girl Who Ate Butterflies - (1999)
  • Many Voices - (2004)
  • More Beautiful Than You
  • Peace on Suburbia - (2003)
  • Flight
  • Moorina of the Seals - (2001)
  • The Harrowing - (2005)
  • The Super Hero Saves The World - (2003)
  • The Chambered Fruit - (2003)
  • Afterword (Map of Dreams) - essay by Gordon Van Gelder

The Corpse Painter's Masterpiece

Mary Rickert

Shirley Jackson Award winning short story. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September-October 2011. The story can also be found in the anthology The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Six (2012), edited by Jonathan Strahan. It is included in the collection You Have Never Been Here: New and Selected Stories (2015).

The Girl Who Ate Butterflies

Mary Rickert

This short story originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, August 1999, and was reprinted in Lightspeed, February 2015. It is incuded in the collection Map of Dreams (2006).

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

The Memory Garden

Mary Rickert

Bay Singer has bigger secrets than most.

Not that she knows about them. Her mother, Nan, is sure that the burden of those secrets would be too much, and that's why she never told anyone the truth, not even Bay.

There's a lot that Nan's kept quiet over the years, especially those times with Mavis and Ruthie—times that were dark and full of guilt. But some secrets have a power all their own, and Nan realizes she needs Mavis and Ruthie now more than ever. When the three meet again in Nan's garden, their reunion has spellbinding effects that none of them could have imagined, least of all Bay...

The Mothers of Voorhisville

Mary Rickert

Nebula-nominated Novella

From multiple World Fantasy Award winner and Nebula, Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, Sturgeon, and British Science Fiction Award nominated author Mary Rickert comes a gorgeous and terrifying vision of the Mothers of Voorhisville, who love their babies just as intensely as any mother anywhere. Of course they do! And nothing in this world will change that, even if every single one of those tiny babies was born with an even tinier set of wings.

Anthologized in Paula Guran's The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas 2015.

Read this story online for free at Tor.com.

Traitor

Mary Rickert

This short story originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May 2008. It can also be found in the anthology Year's Best SF 14 (2009), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. The story is included in the collection Holiday (2010).

You Have Never Been Here

Mary Rickert

Sturgeon Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in the anthology Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology (2006), edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel. It was later reprinted in Lightspeed, January 2012. The story is included in the collections Holiday (2010) and You Have Never Been Here: New and Selected Stories (2015).

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

You Have Never Been Here: New and Selected Stories

Mary Rickert

The body of this book is built on hard, political stories that encompass the gentle wisdom of the ages. There is cruelty and love. War and regeneration. Rickert has long been an undiscovered master of the short story and this survey collection, including new work, will bring her to a wide, astonished audience. Rickert's first collection, Map of Dreams, received the Crawford and World Fantasy awards and stories in this collection have received the Shirley Jackson and World Fantasy awards.

Table of Contents:

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