The stories in F. Brett Cox’s debut collection move through multiple genres and many times and places, from the monsters of the 19th century to the future fields of war, from New England to the South to the American West, from the strange house at the top of the hill to the bottom of your childhood swimming pool. But whatever the time and place, and whether utterly fantastic or all too real, all of these remarkable fictions pose the fundamental question: what’s next? The End of All Our Exploring features 27 stories, and it also includes Cox’s unique historical notes.
“As T.S. Eliot’s enlightened twin brother once put it, ‘We shall not cease from savoring the stories of F. Brett Cox—with their lapidary prose, beguilingly haunted characters, cosmic regionalism, wistful edginess, understated apocalypses, and laid back moral urgency—and the end of all our literary revels will be to arrive at a place of exceeding strangeness and never want to leave.”
—James Morrow, author of Galápagos Regained
“Even in tales that feel borderline mainstream, F. Brett Cox slips in elements of the uncanny or the macabre that make the mind run hot and the blood flow cold. The End of All Our Exploring merits not just exploration, but focused scrutiny of its every vivid foray into American places, history, culture, childhoods, literature, music, psychic phenomena, and a host of other national obsessions. This brave collection unlocks them all. And rocks doing it.”
—Michael Bishop, author of The Sacerdotal Owl and Three Other Long Tales
“The wonder of this long-overdue collection is how effortlessly Brett Cox jaunts between so many different literary modes. He understands the unique challenges not only of the fantastic genres of horror, science fiction and fantasy, but also of historical fiction and contemporary literary fiction. His deft touch with dialogue and narrative voice allow him to inhabit a cast of vivid characters, some as ordinary as your next-door neighbor, some well and truly estranged from reality. What I like best about these people is how decisive they so often are, even when they’re dead wrong and bound for disaster. The stories in The End of All Our Exploring will make you laugh and shudder and shake your head at the absurd and marvelous things we humans do.”
—James Patrick Kelly, winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards