Yesterday happily brought some new galleys from PS Publishing in the UK. Most welcome was the copy of Lucius Shepard’s new collection, Dagger Key and Other Stories. Its 470 pages cover nine novellas and novelettes published over the past five years, including revised versions of “Limbo” and “Abimagique”, as well as the stories “Stars Seen Through Stone”, “Emerald Street Expansions”, “Liar’s House”, “Dead Money”, “Dinner at Baldassaro’s”, “The Lepidopterist”, and new pirate story “Dagger Key”. The great thing about this book is that it’s the simplest way to get the latest Shepard stories all in one place. He’s been incredibly prolific over the past three or four years (see also 2004’s collection Trujillo as evidence), and he’s without question one of the best short story writers working in the field. I might quietly yearn for a different cover artist to grace a Shepard collection (I could be wrong, but Potter has done the covers for every collection except Barnacle Bill and Eternity and Other Stories), but this is both a welcome and an essential book. The only quibble is that, after all of the PS copies are sold, I hope that there might be a trade edition of the book. It’s long for a trade collection, I know, but I’d like to think that a book like this could come out in an edition of more than seven hundred copies. Of course, with that in mind, if you love great genre fiction you should get your order in for Dagger Key and Other Stories. They’ll be gone before you know it.