Jeffrey Ford’s The Empire of Ice Cream

I just finished Jeff Ford‘s second collection of short stories, The Empire of Ice Cream.  I loved his first collection The Fantasy Writer’s Assistant and Other Stories, and his second is easily its equal.  For my money, Ford is the best short story writer in fantasy today.  While Empire has received much praise for his highly literate and effectively nostalgic ghost stories like “Botch Town” and “The Trentino Kid,” my favorite Ford stories are the more twisted oddities built around a marvelously realized pseudo-science or skewed reality, like the title story, “The Weight of Words,” and “A Man of Light.”  If you want to read a fantasy writer people will be talking about long after we’re all pushing up daisies, check out Ford’s work.  Don’t like short stories?  His novels are equally compelling.  I’d start with The Well-Built City Trilogy—The Physiognomy, The Memoranda, and The Beyond.

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