Fans of well-written tales filled with ironic reversals will relish this quality collection of 34 stories (including 13 originals). Where Angels Fear is Volume One of a two-volume exhaustive collection of the short fiction of Ken Rand. Volume Two, The Gods Perspire, is also available.
"Rand consistently displays creative imagination as well as a gift for understatement. Even where the twist endings are less than surprising, the deftly drawn characters and evocative descriptions will keep readers entirely satisfied."
"Rand has a flair for pushing beyond all the familiar sf tropes to fabricate boldly imaginative visions of the future. “Eye of the Assassin” follows a hired gun on his latest assignment: to knock off an old foe by using the devious technique of downloading his consciousness to his enemy’s most trusted advisor. In “A Breed Apart,” a biologically enhanced female mercenary must hunt down and kill a sniper who not only shares her gender and abilities but is carrying a child in her womb. Rand’s characters are soldiers, mutants, and genetically modified animals grappling with unpredictable forces and equally unforeseen technologies. His visceral style and abundance of startling imagery keep readers in a state of perpetual surprise and satisfying suspense."
"Thanks to Fairwood Press, I’ve belatedly discovered the remarkable work of Ken Rand in Where Angels Fear, first of a planned dulology showcasing his stories. This one features “the dark side,” while a later volume (The Gods Perspire, scheduled for fall), will be devoted to the “light.” Since Rand’s work is new to me, I can’t really say where the dividing line might be, but darkness doesn’t mean strictly horror: the title story is one of the few here that deal with anything like Ancient Evil. Other works range from far-future SF to apocalyptic visions of a ravaged Earth to contemporary strangeness, and even a few that could be dubbed high fantasy. (Rand himself calls the opposite poles “extreme space opera” and “extreme fantasy.” ... There is also a nice bonus, 14 originals just as impressive as the reprints. Yes, Rand’s a prolific writer, but I think those extras have more to say about the state of publishing today: not enough magazines and theme anthologies dealing with SF, fantasy, horror, weirdness (or whatever you want to call it) for a master of them all to appear as often as he should. Fairwood Press has done us a real service by finding him another home."
—Faren Miller, Locus
"One of my constant complaints about contemporary publishing is that except in the case of a few big name authors, single author collections have become rarities. When I was first reading SF, collections of stories by Lester Del Rey, Poul Anderson, Gordon Dickson, and others were common even before they reached the height of their careers. Today, most of the stories that appear in the prozines and anthologies are one shot deals – if you don’t read them there you may never have another opportunity. The small press has filled in some of those gaps, though not nearly enough. This particular book is the first of two projected volumes collecting the short fiction of Ken Rand, both of whose novels I’ve read are both fantasies, although most of the stories collected here are SF or horror. About a third of the stories included here (34 in all) are original, the rest reprints. Not surprisingly, the quality of the reprints is higher than the others, but not dramatically so. My favorites here include “Buzzards of Oz”, “Gone Fishin’”, “The Find”, “Crickets Everywhere”, and “The Eye.” Some of the stories are humorous, and Rand seems to have a particular talent for light comedy mixed with serious content. A nice fat collection that will give you your money’s worth."
—Don D'Ammassa, Critical Mass
"Ken’s reach seems to know no bounds. He tells stories about nearly everything in nearly every way possible. This collection goes on the special part of my bookshelf reserved for the authors who I want to read again and again."
—James Van Pelt, author of Summer of the Apocalypse
"In Where Angels Fear Rand demonstrates yet again that we are in the hands of a creative and capable craftsman who knows his storytelling trade very well indeed."
—Ken Scholes, author of Long Walks, Last Flights
Ken Rand's collection stirs that classic sense of wonder which is the hallmark of great science fiction. From the fearsome twist of "Where Angels Fear" to the bizarre hopefulness of "Gone Fishin', and every sort of story in between, Ken's fiction delights and amazes. Don't miss this wonderful collection by one of the finest writers working in the genre today."
—Louise Marley, author of The Terrorists of Irustan
It’s hard to find someone to blurb a Ken Rand book because there just isn’t anyone else doing what Ken does, much less doing it better.
—Selina Rosen, publisher, Yard Dog Press
Ken Rand is definitely one of the brightest new talents in fantastic fiction today. A writer to watch.
—Darrell Schweitzer, author of Transients and Other Disquieting Stories