Phil and Harvey stories were pretty much my favourite critiques in my early years at GSFWC. The Olivia Reunion Party (along side Michael Cobley’s spectacular In Tibet With Coax) totally blew apart my concept of what a short story could be. And when we got to read The Fishie, a tale of organic magic told in an invented organic argot, I had no words. They really are that good. Alice and Bob, Abigail and Change, The Barrowland’s Last Stand – I loved them all, and was delighted to see them pop up in the truly excellent indie corners of the publishing world, and several of them again in the Years Best Fantasy And Horror.
And it AMAZES me that the award-winning story of doomy Portuguese blues, Fado, has never actually been published. Because it’s one of my favourite short stories, ever.
If you’ve got an ebooked up device and you’re looking for a taste of funny, absurd, and heartbreaking, go buy this book. I promise you’ll find stories here that you’ll absolutely love.
If you still need persuading have a read of Hal Duncan’s introduction.