Strange Highways (short story collection)
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First (limited) edition
|Cover artist||Phil Parks|
|Publisher||Cemetery Dance Publications, Warner|
|Media type||Print (Hardback, Paperback)|
Strange Highways is a collection of 12 short stories and two novels by best-selling American suspense author Dean Koontz, released in May 1995. Four of the stories are revised from their originals. A British edition of the book (without the novel Chase) was previously issued by Headline in April 1995.
- "Strange Highways" (novel): a failed author returns to his hometown after many years to attend his father's funeral, only to find himself suddenly and inexplicably thrust back through time to relive a traumatic event from his past, and possibly to find redemption. In the introduction, Koontz lists the Centralia, Pennsylvania mine fire as an inspiration for this story.
- "The Black Pumpkin": a twelve-year-old boy tries to stop his sadistic older brother from buying a monstrous-looking pumpkin from a creepy pumpkin carver, but to no avail. That night, the frightening truth about the pumpkin and its carver is revealed.
- "Miss Attila the Hun": A bizarre alien lifeform tries to take over the planet, and the only thing in its way is a schoolteacher known as Miss Atilla the Hun.
- "Down in the Darkness": after a couple buys a new house, the husband discovers a mysterious door that seems to appear and disappear at will. When he goes through it, he discovers a horrifying secret.
- "Ollie's Hands": a young man with extraordinary psychic abilities and his tragic attempt to pursue a relationship with a woman whose life he saves. [Revised version]
- "Snatcher": a loathsome purse snatcher steals a purse from a strange old woman, only to find out too late that there was far more to her (and her purse) than met the eye.
- "Trapped": a woman and her son trying to fend off an attack by giant, mutated rats.
- "Bruno": a private eye meets a "probability cop" from another dimension, and together they hunt down a dangerous alien. [Revised version]
- "We Three": three siblings with special powers eliminate the rest of mankind, thinking that they're the "new race", but soon one of them is pregnant with a creature even more powerful who just might eliminate them. [Revised version]
- "Hardshell": a wounded cop stalks a killer through an abandoned warehouse, but there's more to this seemingly stereotypical situation than meets the eye.
- "Kittens": the first short story Koontz ever sold. An abused girl learns the horrible truth about God "taking her kittens to Heaven", and she devises an even more horrible revenge. [Revised version]
- "The Night of the Storm": a group of intelligent robots go on a hunting trip in the woods, where they learn that the myth of "human beings" may not be a myth after all.
- "Twilight of the Dawn": a devout atheist who finds his lack of faith challenged in the wake of his son's painful death from cancer.
- "Chase" (novella): A Vietnam war hero goes on the hunt for a murderous criminal.
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