Things Left Behind
- Author: Gary A. Braunbeck
- Artist: Alan M. Clark
- Page Count: 568
- Pub. Date: 1997
- ISBN: 1-881475-21-2
- Status: Out of Print
Things Left Behind
Gary A. Braunbeck
About the Book:
A firm believer that speculative fiction in all of its forms is the supreme mythic literature of our times, Gary A. Braunbeck accomplishes what all serious genre writers set out to do: to entertain, to instill honest emotion and incorporate the writer's own sensibilities into his or her fiction, and — when the job has been done well — perhaps leave the reader with a little food for thought afterward. That Braunbeck has done so is exceptional; that he has done so repeatedly is evidenced by many of his stories regularly appearing on several "Year's Best" lists.
Things Left Behind not only displays the versatility of Braunbeck's work (with stories from the horror, fantasy, mystery, literary, suspense, historical, science fiction, and popular mainstream fields) but showcases it in a structure that only a handful of writers have attempted. Some will call it "a collection," others might deem it an "episodic novel," what cannot be argued is that it is unlike anything else you will encounter in genre fiction this year.
Read the book as you would a novel — straight through to the end, for Things Left Behind is much more than an assortment of meticulously-crafted short stories and novellas; it is an exploration of the myriad realms of mystery, violence, grief, rage, loneliness, joy, and horror that lie just beneath the surface of the everyday world, and what can happen when one goes looking for answers to questions that cannot — and perhaps should not — be found.
Focused and unified in ways that recall Peter Straub's Houses Without Doors, Hemingway's In Our Time, and Russell Bank's Success Stories, Braunbeck's Things Left Behind is a disturbing portrayal of archetypes (the outsider, the warrior, the ghost, the werewolf, the magician, the killer, the singer, the vampire, the storyteller, and so on) of a small, archetypical society — in this case, the fictional town of Cedar Hill, Ohio. The book begins with "Dreams and Permanence," essentially a brief study of the outsider, and, coming full-circle, ends with "Searching For Survivors," a horrifying, powerful, and ultimately moving meditation on the effects of unspeakable violence, wherein the outsider becomes the storyteller. Along the way, readers will be treated to some of Braunbeck's most popular pieces — "After The Elephant Ballet," "By Civilized Means," "Cyrano," and the controversial novella "Some Touch Of Pity," presented here for the first time in its original, uncut form — as well as several brand-new works (nearly two-thirds of the stories presented here have never been published before), including a 30,000 word novella, "The Sisterhood Of Plain-Faced Women," perhaps the most accomplished piece of short fiction Braunbeck has thus far written.
This Cemetery Dance edition, illustrated by Allen Koszowski, also boasts a stunning cover by World Fantasy Award-winning artist Alan M. Clark, a Preface by J.N. Williamson, an Introduction by the legendary William F. Nolan, an Afterword by Ed Gorman, and is signed by all contributors!
Things Left Behind promises to be the most talked-about debut of the year, so open the book, turn the first page, and let your journey into the unique, terrifying, and heartbreaking world of Gary A. Braunbeck begin.
And hang on to something.
Gary A. Braunbeck was born in Newark, Ohio (the city that serves as the model for the fictitious Cedar Hill in many of his stories) in July of 1960. A Recovering Catholic who once briefly studied for the priesthood, Gary can usually be found holed up in his office writing stories and novels in any number of genres. He has worked as a grocery store clerk, a carny "stick", an animal groomer, a cable television salesman (a job at which he lasted one day), a bartender, a waiter, a short-order cook, an habilitation supervisor for developmentally disabled adults, an actor (specifically Summer Stock and Dinner Theatre, as well as being an extra in one movie and one television mini-series), a janitor (several stints at that one), a musician, a newspaper reporter, a clown for childrens' birthday parties, and is currently a Creative Writing instructor with Seton Hill College where he teaches in an innovative Master's Degree program in Writing Popular Fiction.
Published in two states:
• Limited Edition of 500 signed and numbered copies ($35)
• Traycased Lettered Edition of 26 signed and lettered copies ($150)