Cigar-Box Faust and Other Miniatures

ISBN: 1892391074
ISBN 13: 9781892391070
By: Michael Swanwick

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Authors Q To T Default Fantasy Fiction Hardcover Or Paperback Science Fiction Short Stories Short Story Novella Short_stories The Toppling Piles To Read

About this book

This collection of short-short fiction by Michael Swanwick contains more than 70 stories in fewer than 100 pages. Often humorous, sometimes chilling, always entertaining, these are prime examples of a recently resurrected literary form. The title piece is a five-minute condensation of a classic of Western literature, featuring a cigar-cutter as Mephistopheles, a box of matches in the roles of Helen of Troy, an Angel of the Lord, the Light of Ontology, and a cigar as Faust himself. Swanwick's bravura imagination has resulted in a separate story for every letter of the alphabet and another set of tales for every planet in the solar system. Additionally, there is a clutch of alternate autobiographies, a novella of decadence and corporate politics in a future Venice that has been boiled down to 416 words, Picasso and Philip K. Dick as existential heroes, and a rhyme for orange.Contents“Cigar-Box Faust”“Writing in My Sleep”“An Abecedary of the Imagination”“Eight Takes on Kindred Themes”“Picasso Deconstructed: Eleven Still-Lifes”“Brief Essays”“Archaic Planets”“The Mask”“Letters to the Editor”“The Madness of Gordon Van Gelder”

Reader's Thoughts


My favorite book to travel with again and again. Slim profile, yet packed with amusing essays, paragraphs and sentences. Some items written during dreams, some are letters back and forth to a publisher. This guy's got a blog that's alot like this book:

Rebecca Schwarz

I love Swanwick and these were all, at the very least, diversionary, but only about half of them struck me as stories as opposed to musings. I guess they're called "Miniatures" on the cover for a reason. I enjoyed the series based on the planets. It's not his fault I'm hungry to read more plotted flash right now.

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