Cages, an early collection of short stories, is a sharp reminder of how damned good a writer Ed Gorman is. The twenty-one stories here cover the gamut from mystery to western, from science fiction and fantasy to horror, and each displays the author's distinct and penetratingly sympathetic voice. As Gorman mentions in one of his story notes, one reviewer called him "the patron saint of outcasts." The comment is true to a degree, but Gorman is much more than that; he is a chronicler of the everyday man, the victim, the one with secret sorrows, the person who may contain more good than bad, or vice versa. Gorman is an incisive scribe of the human condition. And his stories are just plain entertaining.
The stories in Cages are from the early Nineties (the exceptions being excerpts from two novels published in 1988 and 1989) and give us 150,000 words of pure Gorman. Only two of the stories had been previously collected, although several have now appeared in later collections. Included are some of the author's best stories, "Mainwaring's Gift," "The Brasher Girl," "The Face," "The End of It All," and "Moonchasers."
If the world were fair, Gorman would be universally recognized for what he is: one of the best writers in any field. But, then, if the world were fair, he wouldn't have much to write about.
- "Moonchasers" (from Criminal Intent)
- "Mainwaring's Gift" (from Christmas Out West)
- "Seasons of the Heart" (from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine)
- "Long Lonesome Roads" (from Murder for Father)
- "Deathman" (from The Best Western Stories of Ed Gorman)
- "The Brasher Girl"
- "One of Those Days, One of Those Nights" (from Crime Yellow)
- "The Morning of August 18th"
- "Nightmare Child" (excerpt from Nightmare Child)
- "The Babysitter" (excerpt from The Babysitter)
- "Dreams of Darkness" (from Dark Whispers)
- "Surrogate" (from Hit Men)
- "Cages" (from The Earth Strikes Back)
- "The Beast in the Woods" (from Tony Hillerman's West)
- "Friends" (from New Crimes 2)
- "Pards" (from The Best Western Stories of Ed Gorman)
- "Yesterday's Dreams" (from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
- "The Face" (from Confederacy of the Dead)
- "The End of It All"
You can't go wrong.