In a universe that isn't ours, a hopelessly mismatched pair are thrown together in a potentially fatal encounter with incomprehensible technology left behind by an unknown transgalactic civilization. Back here on Earth, a hideous rape is even more hideously avenged by a child's dream. A middle-aged bourgeois husband recalls his life as drummer in a punk-rock group and the otherworldly strangeness of the singer he loved. A movie buff cannot explain why the offerings at his local fleapit seem to fly in the face of all reason. In a world comprising the residue left over after imagination has gone elsewhere, a Beast must embark on an endless quest to find his Beauty. And meanwhile there's another case to be solved outside time in the cozy-mystery village of Cadaver-in-the-Offing...
In the fifteen superbly literary stories of this, his first collection, Hugo- and World Fantasy Award-winning author John Grant goes to places other fantasy and SF writers have yet to find on the map. Take No Prisoners is a magnificent demonstration of why his imagination has been described as defying all genre categorization. As a special bonus, this new e-edition of Take No Prisoners includes two novelettes from the author's Leaving Fortusa cycle: "The Hard Stuff" and "Q"...
Wooden Horse (free sample: complete story available online)
The Glad who Sang a Mermaid in from the Probability Sea
A Lean and Hungry Look
I Could Have a General Be / In the Bright King's Arr-umm-ee
The Dead Monkey Puzzle
All the Best Curses Last for a Lifetime
A Case of Four Fingers
The Machine It Was That Cried
Mouse (free sample: complete story available online)
How I Slept with the Queen of China
The Hard Stuff
"Grant's hate for the war and the warmongers almost sets the pages on fire, but the love he portrays is just as powerful."
– Lois Tilton, Tangent, on "The Hard Stuff"
"There is more than enough hatred for the George W. Bush administration to go round and John Grant's 'Q' is not the only story to fuel itself on this anger. It might well be the best, though."
– Martin Lewis, The Ellen Datlow/SCIFICTION Project, on "Q"
"I am struck here not only by the variety of these stories, and the impressive imagination, but by the control of voice. This is a book of first-rate work, by a writer worthy of more of our attention."
–Rich Horton, Locus
"Vivid imagination and dazzling prose."
–Peter Tennant, The Third Alternative
"John Grant has to be one of my favourite short story authors ... A simply fantastic read."
–Donna Jones, SF Crowsnest
"Do not open this book until you are prepared to dive in and forget the day. The worlds of John Grant are harsh, interconnected, florid, fluent, fun; and, more than all of that, they are generous. His tales are long and full. And his characters live at full stretch, because John Grant gives each of them his own contentious, passionate, loving heart. Read and weep, read and laugh; but don't begin to read until you're ready for a long joy."
"John Grant is a master of transcendent literary fantasy, and one of my idols. His work is baroque, rich, often blurring the fine borders between symbol and reality, science and faith, philosophy and dogma, imagination and probability. With effortless skill he pours it all into a spicy cauldron of story, stirs it up with a biting-hot ladle of words, and the delicious result is Take No Prisoners."