cover image Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy, Vol. 3

Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy, Vol. 3

Stephen King, Laura Kasischke, Peter S. Beagle, . . Underland, $14.95 (318pp) ISBN 978-0-9802260-8-9

Brockmeier (The Brief History of the Dead ) compiles 20 eclectic and exceptional stories that “graft” fantasy with realistic fiction for this third installment of the annual anthology cofounded by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. Standout selections include Stephen King's poignant “The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates,” in which a woman receives a phone call from her recently deceased husband, and two World Fantasy Award finalists: Peter S. Beagle's “Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel,” an exploration of redemption and salvation as an angel demands to be a 76-year-old painter's muse, and John Kessel's “Pride and Prometheus,” a mashup uniting Pride and Prejudice 's plain sister, Mary Bennet, and Victor Frankenstein. These and other wildly imaginative tales will appeal to fans of fantasy and literary fiction alike. (Feb.)