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The Ant King and Other Stories
Benjamin Rosenbaum
August 5, 2008  

The Ant King and Other Stories

Trade paper · $16 · 9781931520539

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The Ant King and Other Stories

Trade cloth · $24 · 9781931520522

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Benjamin RosenbaumA dazzling, postmodern debut collection of pulp and surreal fictions: a writer of alternate histories defends his patron's zeppelin against assassins and pirates; a woman transforms into hundreds of gumballs; an emancipated children's collective goes house hunting.

"Lively, bizarre, and funny as well as dark, sinister, and sensual."
Boston Phoenix

"'Featuring outlandish and striking imagery throughout—a woman in love with an elephant, an orange that ruled the world—this collection is a surrealistic wonderland."
Publishers Weekly

Table of Contents

The Ant King: A California Fairy Tale
The Valley of Giants
The Orange
Biographical Notes to 'A Discourse on the Nature of Causality, with Air-Planes', by Benjamin Rosenbaum
Start the Clock
The Blow
Embracing-the-New
Falling
Orphans
On the Cliff by the River
Fig
The Book of Jashar
The House Beyond Your Sky
Red Leather Tassels
Other Cities
Sense and Sensibility
A Siege of Cranes

Says who?

* "Give him some prizes, like, perhaps, "best first collection" for this book."
Booklist (Starred review)

"Rosenbaum proves he’s capable of sustained fantasy with "Biographical Notes," a steampunkish alternate history of aerial piracy, and "A Siege of Cranes," a fantasy about a battle between a human insurgent and the White Witch that carries decidedly modern undercurrents.... Perhaps none of the tales is odder than "Orphans," in which girl-meets-elephant, girl-loses-elephant."
Kirkus Reviews

"Imagine Borges and Dali hanging out at Pee Wee Herman's playhouse, and you have a brief inkling of what Rosenbaum's fiction is like. The Ant King and Other Stories is Rosenbaum’s debut collection of short fiction, which features pieces have been that have nominated for genre awards, and have appeared in a slew of venues, from Interzone, Realms of Fantasy, and McSweeney's. The content ranges from postmodern fables, flash fiction, pulp fiction, all told in precise and distinctive, if not exactly poetic, prose. The imagery—which is what propels the stories as much as plot—is always startling and surrealistic. Rosenbaum mixes literary forms and narrative styles like a DJ."
Fantasy Book Spot

"A terrific range of tales, showcasing an active, playful mind and a gleeful genre-blender."
—Aimee Bender

"Ben Rosenbaum is one of the freshest and finest voices to appear in science fiction in many years. The stories collected in The Ant King demonstrate his astonishing versatility, his marvelous imagination, and his ready wit."
—Jack Womack

"But among our most interesting writers today one finds a growing number—Kelly Link, Elizabeth Hand, Aimee Bender, Jonathan Lethem, Benjamin Rosenbaum—working the boundary: "sometimes drawing the line," as Hyde writes of Trickster, "sometimes crossing it, sometimes erasing or moving it, but always there," in the borderlands among regions on the map of fiction." —Michael Chabon, Maps and Lagends

On Other Cities

"Rosenbaum's fertile sense of invention and his sly humor ("Ponge, as its inhabitants will tell you, is a thoroughly unattractive city. 'Well,' they always say at the mention of any horrible news, 'we do live in Ponge.'") make these parables a real treat."
-- Asimov's

"Throughout Other Cities, compressed insight and wonder are compressed into but a handful of words. This small book's crisp design and illustrations mirror the elegance of the writing: recommended."
Xerography Debt

"Charming..."
Locus

"I enthusiastically urge you to get a copy and enjoy the exciting and odd metropolises in Other Cities."
Washington Science Fiction Association Journal

"And though the stories are tiny, they do not disappoint as a result of their brevity. When you leave one fantastic destination behind, there is another city right around the corner."
Tangent

"Other Cities by Ben Rosenbaum is a collection of fourteen gems, expertly cut and highly polished. Each contains, within its myriad facets, a metropolis, brimming with mystery, insight and wonder."
— Jeffrey Ford (The Girl in the Glass)

"Rosenbaum's little book of cities is like a box of very good chocolates, picked out by a dear friend with an intimate understanding of both confectionary and you. These vignettes are urbane without being arch, sweet without being maudlin, mysterious without being cryptic. Cities are the pinnacle of human acheivment: if you have any doubt, read this."
—Cory Doctorow (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and A Place So Foreign and Eight More)

"Benjamin Rosenbaum's miniature stories are like tiny arrows aimed straight at the heart of Mystery."
— Walter Jon Williams (Dread Empire's Fall: The Praxis)

"The eloquence and poignancy of each of these stories astonished me. "The City of Peace," alone, is enough to make one weep. But when read as a whole, Other Cities is not only harrowing, but exhilarating. It's a fearless exploration into both the heart of darkness and the soul of hope. Here, despair and joy are neither opposites nor antagonists -- but husband and wife, brother and sister, yin and yang. In these Cities of Humanity, you won't meet one without meeting the other."
— Bradley Denton (One Day Closer to Death: Eight Stabs at Immortality)

(Want to see the rest of Bradley Denton's quote?)

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Publication history

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