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Authors: Peter S.; Peter S. Beagle; Joe R. Lansdale Beagle

The Urban Fantasy Anthology

BOOK: The Urban Fantasy Anthology
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“The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” by Holly Black

 

Fifty-seven days ago, Matilda had been sober. She’d had a boyfriend named Julian, and they would dress up together in her bedroom. He liked to wear skinny ties and glittery eye shadow. She liked to wear vintage rock t-shirts and boots that laced up so high that they would constantly be late because they were busy tying them.

Matilda and Julian would dress up and prowl the streets and party at lockdown clubs that barred the doors from dusk to dawn. Matilda wasn’t particularly careless; she was just careless enough.

She’d been at a friend’s party. It had been stiflingly hot, and she was mad because Julian and Lydia were doing some dance thing from the musical they were in at school. Matilda just wanted to get some air. She opened a window and climbed out under the bobbing garland of garlic.

Another girl was already on the lawn. Matilda should have noticed that the girl’s breath didn’t crystallize in the air, but she didn’t.

“Do you have a light?” the girl had asked.

Matilda did. She reached for Julian’s lighter when the girl caught her arm and bent her backwards. Matilda’s scream turned into a shocked cry when she felt the girl’s cold mouth against her neck, the girl’s cold fingers holding her off balance.

Then it was as though someone slid two shards of ice into her skin.

The spread of vampirism could be traced to one person—Caspar Morales. Films and books and television had started romanticizing vampires, and maybe it was only a matter of time before a vampire started romanticizing
himself
.

Crazy, romantic Caspar decided that he wouldn’t kill his victims. He’d just drink a little blood and then move on, city to city. By the time other vampires caught up with him and ripped him to pieces, he’d infected hundreds of people. And those new vampires, with no idea how to prevent the spread, infected thousands.

When the first outbreak happened in Tokyo, it seemed like a journalist’s prank. Then there was another outbreak in Hong Kong and another in San Francisco.

The military put up barricades around the area where the infection broke out. That was the way the first Coldtown was founded.

 

The Urban Fantasy Anthology

© 2011 by Tachyon Publications

This is a work of collected fiction. All events portrayed in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form without the express permission of the publisher.

Introduction by Peter S. Beagle © 2011 by Avicenna Development Corporation.

Cover and interior design by Elizabeth Story

Tachyon Publications

1459 18
th
Street #139

San Francisco, CA 94107

(415) 285-5615

www.tachyonpublications.com

[email protected]

Series Editor: Jacob Weisman

Project Editor: Jill Roberts

ISBN 13: 978-1-61696-018-6

ISBN 10: 1-61696-018-3

Printed in the United States of America by Worzalla

First Edition: 2011

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

“A Personal Journey into Mythic Fiction” © 2011 by Charles de Lint. Previously unpublished.

“A Bird That Whistles” © 1989 by Emma Bull. First published in Hidden Turnings, edited by Diana Wynne Jones (Greenwillow: New York).

“Make a Joyful Noise” © 2005 by Charles de Lint. First published in Make a Joyful Noise (Subterranean Press: Burton, Michigan).

“The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories” © 1996 by Neil Gaiman. First published in David Copperfield’s Beyond Imagination, edited by David Copperfield, Janet Berliner, and Martin H. Greenberg (Avon Books: New York).

“On the Road to New Egypt” © 1995 by Jeffrey Ford. First published in Aberrations, 32.

“Julie’s Unicorn” © 1997 by Avicenna Development Corporation. First published in The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche and Other Odd Acquaintances (Tachyon Publications: San Francisco).

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Urban Fantasy” © 2011 by Paula Guran. Previously unpublished.

“Companions to the Moon” © 2007 by Charles de Lint. First published in Realms of Fantasy, June 2007.

“A Haunted House of Her Own” © 2009 by Kelley Armstrong. First published in Twilight Zone: 19 Original Stories on the 50th Anniversary, edited by Carol Sterling (Tor Books: New York).

“She’s My Witch” © 1995 by Norman Partridge. First published in 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, edited by Stefan Dziemianowicz, Robert Weinberg, and Martin H. Greenberg (Barnes & Noble: New York).

“Kitty’s Zombie New Year” © 2007 by Carrie Vaughn. First published in Weird Tales, June/July 2007.

“Seeing Eye” © 2009 by Patricia Briggs. First published in Strange Brew, edited by P. N. Elrod (St. Martin’s Press: New York).

“Hit” © 2008 by Bruce McAllister. First published in Aeon, issue 13.

“Boobs” © 1989 by Suzy McKee Charnas. First published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, July 1989.

“Farewell, My Zombie” © 2009 by Francesca Lia Block. First published in Black Clock, Spring/Summer 2009.

“We Are Not a Club, But We Sometimes Share a Room,” © 2011 by Joe R. Lansdale. Previously unpublished.

“The White Man” © 2004 by Thomas M. Disch. First published in Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy, edited by Al Sarrantonio (Roc: New York).

“Gestella” © 2004 by Susan Palwick. First published in Starlight 3, edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden (Tor Books: New York).

“The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” © 2009 by Holly Black. First published in The Eternal Kiss: 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire, edited by Trisha Telep (Running Press: Philadelphia).

“Talking Back to the Moon” © 2011 by Steven R. Boyett. Previously unpublished.

“On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks” © 1989 by Joe R. Lansdale. First appeared in Book of the Dead, edited by John Skipp and Craig Spector (Bantam: New York).

“The Bible Repairman” © 2005 by Tim Powers. First published as The Bible Repairman (Subterranean Press: Burton, Michigan).

“Father Dear” © 1983 by Al Sarrantonio. First appeared in Fears, edited by Charles L. Grant (Berkley Books: New York).

CONTENTS

Introduction by Peter S. Beagle

Mythic Fiction

Introduction: A Personal Journey into Mythic Fiction
Charles de Lint
A Bird That Whistles
Emma Bull
Make a Joyful Noise
Charles de Lint
The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories
Neil Gaiman
On the Road to New Egypt
Jeffrey Ford
Julie’s Unicorn
Peter S. Beagle

Paranormal Romance

Introduction: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Urban Fantasy
Paula Guran
Companions to the Moon
Charles de Lint
A Haunted House of Her Own
Kelley Armstrong
She’s My Witch
Norman Partridge
Kitty’s Zombie New Year
Carrie Vaughn
Seeing Eye
Patricia Briggs
Hit
Bruce McAllister
Boobs
Suzy McKee Charnas
Farewell, My Zombie
Francesca Lia Block

Noir Fantasy

Introduction: We Are Not a Club, But We Sometimes Share a Room
Joe R. Lansdale
The White Man
Thomas M. Disch
Gestella
Susan Palwick
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Holly Black
Talking Back to the Moon
Steven R. Boyett
On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks
Joe R. Lansdale
The Bible Repairman
Tim Powers
Father Dear
Al Sarrantonio

Introduction

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