From New York Times bestselling author Alan Moore-one of the most influential writers in the history of comics-"a wonderful collection, brilliant and often moving" (Neil Gaiman) which takes us to the fantastical underside of reality.
In his first-ever short story collection, which spans forty years of work, Alan Moore presents a series of wildly different and equally unforgettable characters who discover--and in some cases even make and unmake--the various uncharted parts of existence.
In "A Hypothetical Lizard," two concubines in a brothel of fantastical specialists fall in love with tragic ramifications. In "Not Even Legend," a paranormal study group is infiltrated by one of the otherworldly beings they seek to investigate. In "Illuminations," a nostalgic older man decides to visit a seaside resort from his youth and finds the past all too close at hand. And in the monumental novella "What We Can Know About Thunderman," which charts the surreal and Kafkaesque history of the comics industry's major players over the last seventy-five years, Moore reveals the dark, beating heart of the superhero business.
From ghosts and otherworldly creatures to theoretical Boltzmann brains fashioning the universe at the big bang, Illuminations is exactly that--a series of bright, startling tales from a contemporary legend that reveal the full power of imagination and magic.
“Illuminations is a wonderful collection, brilliant and moving. A few are stories I've loved for years (in one case, for decades), some were new to me, often managing to be both mind-expanding and cosmic while utterly rooted in our urban reality, written in language that coruscates, concatenates and glitters. But the short stories in this book also turn out to be a sort of camouflage, or a frame, for 'What We Can Know About Thunderman,' a short novel that's a scabrous, monstrous, often hilarious, unmasking and reinvention of the people who made the comics, and the lives destroyed by the four colour funnies. It's Alan Moore's Guernica, a time-hopping ontological Imaginary Story that refuses to leave your head after you've read it.” —Neil Gaiman, author of AMERICAN GODS and NORSE MYTHOLOGY
“One of the most significant fiction writers in English . . . Moore's influence can be felt everywhere-in our literature, on our screens, in our politics.” —Guardian
“His bighearted passion for his people . . . and the whole monstrous endeavor of the human condition is infectious. I'm not sure there's a God, but I thank Her for Alan Moore.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Moore makes the parochial universal, the mundane sublime and the temporal never-ending.” —Financial Times
“One of the great fiction minds of his generation.” —Rolling Stone
“Moore's prose is rich and complicated . . . Once you slip into the rhythm of it, it is also poetic, insightful, and beautiful.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“The question of whether he's a fountain of imagination or just bats has never arisen: He's both, and his ability to see familiar ideas from an alien perspective is one of his best tricks.” —Slate