Jane Rice: The Sixth Dog, cover & frontispiece by Jason Eckhardt (ISBN 0-940884-74-7), Necronomicon Press Fiction, $4.95
Jane Rice’s short fiction was a staple of the landmark fantasy magazine Unknown, and praised by editor John W. Campbell, Jr., as “beautiful” and “magnificent”. Her stories are fondly remembered for their believable everyday characters who confront uncanny disruptions in their lives with quiet dignity and a good sense of humor. Over the decades, reprintings of Rice’s tales “The Crest of the Wave”, “The Refugee”, and the renowned “Idol of the Flies” have introduced legions of fantasy readers to her trademark style of horror leavened with whimsy. Although entirely new, “The Sixth Dog” is classic Jane Rice, the story of a veterinarian who discovers that there is more than meets the eye to his cantankerous neighbor’s peculiar pets. The charming portrait of a small town where dark deeds are done behind closed doors, it’s sure to provoke laughter as well as the uneasy frisson one finds in the best weird fiction.