Don't talk to strangers: the advice everyone hears and few heed. Now its menace has inspired acclaimed anthologist Michele Slung to seek a haunting variety of interpretations reminding us why we ignore this counsel at our peril. Intrigued as well by the slippery definition of "stranger," Slung has looked to such masters of lingering discomfiture as Patricia Highsmith, Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Mark Helprin, and Edith Wharton for memorable waking nightmares.
Wherever each tale takes us -- to a greasy spoon somewhere off the highway or to an estate deep in the English countryside, to the basement lair of a suburban hobbyist or to an isolated Saharan oasis -- it sends us spiraling into that blackness yawning beyond its particular unseen trap door.
Slung's choices are both old and new, real and surreal, noir and nervy. Once you've been introduced to the strangers she's sending your way, one thing is certain -- you'll regard everyone you encounter differently... including that very familiar person who stares back at you from the mirror.