Waltzing With the Dead is one of the most unique short story collections I've ever had the pleasure to encounter. While the cover art, and the majority of the stories, lend this a fantasy-genre slant, don't let that fool you. WWTD is a complex puzzle of words.
There are four sections in the book, each prefaced by a long poem by the author. The sections are breakdowns of the content, and the poetry is top notch. Many of the stories then have snatches of the poetry preceding their text, adding clarity to the structural breakdown of the work presented.
"I heard of an old man who saw only grays-he fell in love
for the first time, saw yellows, and it stopped his heart."
Rather than a "ghost story" collection, or a "Sci-Fi" collection, this book almost defies classification. There are Science-Fiction stories, to be sure. There are also fantasy stories, mystery stories, police stories, and at least one that borders on pornography, but there is a theme. The theme is where I will draw my classification for the book, and I'm going to say it is "romantic fiction." Bear with me.
The highlights of the book, for me, are some of the later stories—one in particular covers the period in time directly after King Arthur's death in the battle with his son. This story is a fresh look at one of the most "worked" themes in fiction, and it works very well, and with a twist.
I won't go into long spoilers about the stories themselves, but I will note that the continuing thread winding them all together is a theme of love, deep-wrought emotion, relationships, and every angle these subjects can be approached from is represented. Imagine a firefighter, trapped in a burning house, and the image of his wife appearing. Imagine that scene hot...