This is the original cover for Jeffrey Ford's second short story collection, The Empire of Ice Cream. Artwork by the inestimable John Picacio.
I acquired and edited this short story collection during my tenure with Golden Gryphon Press. I don't believe I ever blogged about this book -- it was published in early 2006 and I didn't begin my blog until early 2009. But, I did write a lengthy blog post reminiscing about the 2000 World Fantasy Convention in Corpus Christi, Texas, which is where I met Jeffrey Ford and John Picacio, so you might want to give that a read to see how Jeff's first short story collection, The Fantasy Writer's Assistant and Other Stories, came to be.
In the meantime, if you don't own a physical copy of The Empire of Ice Cream and you do read ebooks, then get yourself over to Amazon.com, or B&N, or Google Play, or wherever you purchase your ebooks, and pick up the digital version of this wondrous book NOW, for only $1.99. I don't know how long this offer will last so don't hesitate. It's only a buck-99 and the title story (a Nebula Award winner) is worth that price alone. And then there's "Botch Town," a 40,000-word novella that won the World Fantasy Award.
Here's the ad copy from Amazon.com:
Magic is everywhere—
for those who know where to look
Few writers can extract as much enchantment from the mundane as award-winning author Jeffrey Ford. His talent for storytelling is readily evident in The Empire of Ice Cream, his collection of ordinary and extraordinary juxtapositions.The bittersweet Nebula Award–winning title story introduces a composer with synesthesia who finds the sound—and woman—of his dreams through a cup of coffee. Then there are the fairies that inhabit sandcastles in the fleeting moments before the inevitable rise of the tide. Ford populates this charmed collection with stories taken from his own life as well, including "Botch Town," which finds him as a schoolboy, and "The Trentino Kid," which recalls his experience digging for clams.
Jeffery Ford can take the mundane, the everyday, and, with the skill of an adept, mold these into brilliantly realized visions, wondrous yet elusive.
"Ford's visions are elusive, tantalizing the reader with hidden implications yet raw with autobiographical pain. Ford's sentimental, exalted prose demands more than one reading."
— The Washington Post Book World