Best of Subterranean

Best of Subterranean

Illustration By Dave McKean

Dust jacket illustration by Dave McKean.

From its launch in 2005 to its final issue in 2014, Subterranean magazine published stories by the leading lights of science fiction and fantasy literature. From Hugo and Nebula winners to Pulitzer and Booker Prize finalists to New York Times bestsellers, this anthology collects 30 pieces of Subterranean’s best, representing diverse, breathtaking short fiction from today’s modern masters.

In “Last Breath” Joe Hill spins the tale of a man who collects the breaths of the dying for his haunting museum. Catherynne M. Valente’s “White Lines on a Green Field” chronicles what might happen if Coyote became a small town high school quarterback. Karen Joy Fowler’s “Younger Women” finds a woman confronting her daughter’s new boyfriend, who happens to be a vampire. Visit the Twilight Zone via George R.R. Martin in the script “The Toys of Caliban.” In Ted Chiang’s “The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling” the narratives of a journalist and a young man are told in contrast, both impacted by technology and literacy. And in Kelley Armstrong’s “The Screams of Dragons” a boy is declared a changeling and things only get stranger from there. Other pieces visit far-flung space and intimate sick rooms, the futuristic pyramids of the rich and a jungle where a man-eating tiger stalks a village.

The Best of Subterranean, edited by William Schafer, is a must-have anthology that brings together more than 700 pages of stories as varied and distinguished as their authors, and which are utterly unforgettable.

Lettered: 26 signed leatherbound copies, housed in a custom traycase
Limited: 350 signed numbered copies, housed in a custom slipcase
Trade: Fully cloth bound hardcover edition

From Publishers Weekly (Starred Review):

“This deep and vibrant genre-spanning collection of 30 stories…contains something for almost every reader, with a particular focus on the creepy and the bittersweet…Genre fans, and fans of short fiction, won’t want to miss this anthology.”

From Kirkus (Starred Review):

“Vampires and wizards and aliens, oh my! A splendid gathering, from the late lamented magazine, of modern science fiction and fantasy. Like the best of the 1950s pulps, Subterranean magazine did not cavil much about genre distinctions: if a sci-fi story strayed into horror or swords and sorcery, that was fine, so long as the story in question was good… Fans of every stripe of speculative fiction will want this on their shelves.”

From Library Journal (Starred Review):

“From 2005 until 2014, Subterranean magazine published a wealth of sf and fantasy short fiction, written by some of the best-known writers in the genre… Readers who were fans of the magazine or who enjoy short speculative fiction will dive right into this hefty tome.”

Table of Contents:

  • Perfidia—Lewis Shiner
  • Game—Maria Dahvana Headley
  • The Last Log of the Lachrimosa—Alastair Reynolds
  • The Seventeenth Kind—Michael Marshall Smith
  • Dispersed by the Sun, Melting in the Wind—Rachel Swirsky
  • The Pile—Michael Bishop
  • The Bohemian Astrobleme—Kage Baker (not signing)
  • Tanglefoot—Cherie Priest
  • Hide and Horns—Joe R. Lansdale
  • Balfour and Meriwether in the Vampire of Kabul—Daniel Abraham
  • Last Breath—Joe Hill
  • Younger Women—Karen Joy Fowler
  • White Lines on a Green Field—Catherynne M. Valente
  • The Least of the Deathly Arts—Kat Howard
  • Water Can’t be Nervous—Jonathan Carroll
  • Valley of the Girls—Kelly Link
  • Sic Him, Hellhound! Kill! Kill!—Hal Duncan
  • Troublesolving—Tim Pratt
  • The Indelible Dark—William Browning Spencer
  • The Prayer of Ninety Cats—Caitlín R. Kiernan
  • The Crane Method—Ian R. MacLeod
  • The Tomb of the Pontifex Dvorn—Robert Silverberg (not signing)
  • The Toys of Caliban (script)—George R. R. Martin
  • The Secret History of the Lost Colony—John Scalzi
  • The Screams of Dragons—Kelley Armstrong
  • The Dry Spell—James P. Blaylock
  • He Who Grew Up Reading Sherlock Holmes—Harlan Ellison® (not signing)
  • A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong—K. J. Parker
  • The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling—Ted Chiang
  • A Long Walk Home—Jay Lake (not signing)




Dave McKean
752 pages
United States
Out of Print
William Schafer