Lucius Shepard is one of the most extraordinary writers living, inside the genre ghetto or out. All his books - Green Eyes, The Jaguar Hunter, The Golden, Barnacle Bill the Spacer, Life During Wartime and any others you happen to run across - are complex, literate, unputdownable and decidedly different from anything else you've ever come across. There's almost nothing in science fiction, less in horror fiction, and damn little in the mainstream to match his visionary scope, his brilliant atmospherics, and his lucid prose - lucid even in the most extreme states of mind and of spirit. The stories in The Ends of the Earth take place in his usual locations - evil little Central American wars as in "Fire Zone Emerald", weird mutations of the United States as in "Bound for Glory" and "Nomans Land", and upon (and inside) the great dragon Griaule in the stunning "The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter" - which is a heartbreakingly beautiful story. As are the rest, including among many others the terrifyingly optimistic "Bound for Glory", which tells of monsters and why we might consider joining them; the existential nightmare "Nomans Land", which treats of white spiders which dream us; and "Aymara", which is that near impossibility, an original tale of time travel, with one of the most moving final sentences I've ever seen. You should go to the ends of the earth to buy this one. These fourteen stories alone are worth a cartload of almost anyone else.