Seventeen of writer Michael Bishop’s favorite stories were handpicked from his previously uncollected works to create this compelling collection, providing an excellent overview of a career that includes award-winning science fiction, horror, fantasy, satire, space opera, and mystery. In “A Tapestry of Little Murders, ” a murderer attempts to escape along a literal road to self-destruction. A medical missionary, tortured by government thugs, reveals her dying wish in “With a Little Help from Her Friends.” In “The Procedure, ” an operation to remove a tumorous growth will hopefully excise from the patient’s mind and body all tendencies toward faith and superstition. From futuristic mystery and Vietnam-era dark fantasy to theological speculation on Christ’s death, a variety of lyrical voices speak through these haunting stories. An essay by the author divulges the genesis of each story.