ON THE BARBARY COAST: Strange Tales of San Francisco And Nearby Places
The San Francisco Bay Area’s unique history and setting provides the background for this collection of nine stories of the strange and fantastic, all told with a meticulous eye for detail and a macabre imagination. On the Barbary Coast: A young man, newly mustered out of the Army, finds himself working as a cable car gripman in Prohibition-era San Francisco. He discovers that dark forces from the past are trying to drag him back to the dangerous Barbary Coast of sixty years earlier, with deadly results. Old Bill’s Secret: A lonely old man living in a flophouse in San Francisco’s Depression-era skid row has a mysterious secret, one which comes back after thirty years to claim his life. The Line: A young architect in Victorian San Francisco discovers that his attraction to a beautiful, mysterious stranger has a disturbingly sinister aspect. The Apartment House: An elderly veteran’s bizarre secret, dating from the South Pacific in WWII, is somehow connected to strange, unexplainable occurrences in a converted Santa Cruz Victorian. The Mark: After his aunt passes away in 1928, her favorite nephew returns to San Francisco for her funeral, only to discover a shocking surprise in her Russian Hill home. The Red Maelstrom: After a young North Beach beatnik commits suicide, the power of her last painting develops terrifying proportions. Unforeseen Condition: A potentially expensive problem arises in the excavation for a new high-rise building in San Francisco’s burgeoning South of Market District. In searching for a solution, a construction project manager discovers ancient forces with awesome powers that change his life forever. The Satan Killer: With nods to H.P. Lovecraft and Raymond Chandler, this tale features a hard-boiled Berkeley psychologist who helps the police investigate a series of disappearances in 1954, only to discover a nemesis with powers far beyond the physical world. Ramona’s Face: A young hippie living in a 1966 Haight-Ashbury flat discovers an unwelcome roommate: the ghost of a former tenant, on a quest to find its own freedom.
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