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A supremely entertaining selection of speculative short fiction from the author of Rocket to the Morgue and “The Quest for Saint Aquin.”
Anthony Boucher was a literary renaissance man: an Edgar Award–winning mystery reviewer, an esteemed editor of the Hugo Award–winning Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, a prolific scriptwriter of radio mystery programs, and an accomplished writer of mystery, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. With a particular fondness for the locked room mystery, Boucher created such iconic sleuths as Los Angeles PI Fergus O’Breen, amateur sleuth Sister Ursula, and alcoholic ex-cop Nick Noble.
In “The Anomaly of the Empty Man,” a man seems to have vanished without ever exiting a room, leaving only his clothes behind. In “Balaam,” a priest and a rabbi go to Mars. Near the desert town of Oasis in the terrifying “They Bite,” you must be weary of what lurks in the corner of your eye. Private investigator Fergus O’Breen has a case involving a time machine and a locked room murder in “Elsewhen.” And a history professor uses time travel to fiddle with a presidential election in “The Other Inauguration.”
In these and half a dozen other mind-blowing short stories, Boucher deftly combines science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and horror.