Behind the Mask is a multi-author collection with stories by award-winning authors Kelly Link, Cat Rambo, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Lavie Tidhar, Sarah Pinsker, Keith Rosson, Kate Marshall, Chris Large and others. It is, partially, a prose nod to the comic world—the bombast, the larger-than-life, the save-the-worlds and the calls-to-adventure. But it’s also a spotlight on the more intimate side of the genre. The hopes and dreams of our cape-clad heroes. The regrets and longings of our cowled villains. That poignant, solitary view of the world that can only be experienced from behind the mask.
Stories by Carrie Vaughn, Kelly Link, Seanan McGuire, Sarah Pinsker, Lavie Tidhar, Patrick Flanagan, Nathan Crowder, Chris Large, Stephanie Lai, Ziggy Schutz, Stuart Suffel, Jennifer Pullen, Michael Milne, Keith Rosson, Keith Frady, Matt Mikalatos, Adam R. Shannon, Aimee Ogden, Kate Marshall, Cat Rambo
Edited by Tricia Reeks and Kyle Richardson
Cass gets the diagnosis in high school, three weeks shy of eighteen, full of dreams about Paris and London and New York. She’s always had the aches. Growing pains, her mother tells her—normal. She repeats it to herself as they wait for the X-rays—normal—in a waiting room with a broken air conditioner—normal—and an antiseptic smell. She repeats it when the nurse calls them back—normal—while the doctor looks down at his notes—normal—all the way until he says the words.
The city is mapped on her bones, to lines that wrap ribs, tibia, mandible. A dense knot of streets engraves her sternum; a lonely road carves a notch in her clavicle. An intersection splays like a starfish below her left eye, and she stares at the shadow of it on the X-ray as the doctor explains. Rare condition. Few known cases. Well, we’ve all seen the news.(Behind the Mask, “Destroy the City with Me Tonight” by Kate Marshall, p. 17)
“Behind the Mask stands out as a mighty collection of supremely imaginative and innovative tales.”
— COLORADO REVIEW
“Reeks and Richardson have pulled together a treasure trove of 20 stories.”
— PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY
“… these imaginative stories, with their original perspectives, make for a thoroughly worthwhile compilation.”
— LIBRARY JOURNAL
“A momentous, readable collection …”
— KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)
“Richardson and Reeks have done a great job picking 20 stories that play to familiar strengths of the genre like transformation, self-identity, secret identities and the responsibilities that come with extraordinary power.”