Smoke and Mirrors (story collection)

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"Smoke and Mirrors (book)" redirects here. For the 2005 fantasy novel, see Tanya Huff.
Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions
Ngsmam.jpg
Author Neil Gaiman
Country United States
Language English
Genre Short stories & Poems
Publication date
1998
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
ISBN 0-06-093470-0 (US-paperback)
OCLC 47662916

Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions is a collection of short stories and poems by Neil Gaiman. It was first published in the US in 1998, and in the UK in 1999.

Many of the stories in this book are reprints from other sources, such as magazines, anthologies, and collections (including ten stories and poems from Gaiman's earlier small press miscellany Angels and Visitations).

Contents[edit]

The included stories and poems are different between some of the editions. The US, UK, and eBook editions have some differences in the stories they contain (see table to right):

Not in US print version
Not in eBook version
* Appears in eBook version as Apple
  • Reading the Entrails - A Rondel about the pleasures and perils of fortune-telling
  • The Wedding Present - A story included in the introduction
  • Chivalry - A story about the Holy Grail written for an anthology by Marty Greenberg
  • Nicholas Was... - A very short story (100 words) used for a Christmas card
  • The Price - on the subject of cats, angels, and an unwanted visitor
  • Troll Bridge - An adult retelling of The Three Billy Goats Gruff written for the anthology Snow White, Blood Red by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
  • Don't Ask Jack - Inspired by a demonic jack-in-the-box sculpture by Lisa Snellings
  • The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories - A brief reflection on a certain pool containing a pair of goldfish
  • Eaten (Scenes from a Moving picture) †‡
  • The White Road - A narrative poem retelling some old English folktales
  • Queen of Knives (for Eric Stern's opera of the same name see Queen of Knives) - A narrative poem about stage magic
  • The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch †‡ - A story about how a visit to an underground circus led to an unexpected change
  • Changes - written for Lisa Tuttle about gender reflection
  • The Daughter of Owls - Written in the style of John Aubrey
  • Shoggoth's Old Peculiar - A return to the New England settings of H.P. Lovecraft where a visitor arrives at a pub and partakes in a jovially mysterious conversation and an eldritch concoction
  • Virus - Written for the anthology Digital Dreams by David Barrett about computer fiction
  • Looking for the Girl - Commissioned by Penthouse for their 20th anniversary issue
  • Only the End of the World Again
  • Bay Wolf - A story poem retelling Beowulf as a futuristic episode of "Baywatch"
  • Fifteen Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot - A series of short stories titled by each card of the Major Arcana
  • We Can Get Them For You Wholesale - An assassin's tale
  • One Life, Furnished in Early Moorcock - Written for an anthology of Elric stories by Michael Moorcock
  • Cold Colors - Inspired by computers and black magic
  • The Sweeper of Dreams - Inspired by a Lisa Snellings statue
  • Foreign Parts
  • Vampire Sestina - A poem originally published in Fantasy Tales and later reprinted in the Mammoth Book of Vampires by Stephen Jones
  • Mouse - A short story inspired by Raymond Carver and written for Touch Wood, edited by Pete Crowther
  • The Sea Change
  • How Do You Think It Feels? †‡ - A man recalls his first sexual encounter with a supernatural twist
  • When We Went to See the End of the World by Dawnie Morningside, age 11¼ - A brief short told from the point-of-view of a young child at what might be the very last picnic her family will ever have
  • Desert Wind - Written for Robin Anders of Boiled in Lead to accompany one of his tracks
  • Tastings - Included in the anthology of erotic fantasy stories, Sirens by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
  • In the End †* - A reversal of the story of the Genesis Creative Narrative
  • Babycakes - Written to include in a benefit for PETA
  • Murder Mysteries - A detective story written for the anthology Midnight Graffiti by Jessie Horsting
  • Snow, Glass, Apples - A familiar story told from a different perspective

Translations[edit]