The Sky That Wraps by Jay Lake

Lake writes extraordinary short stories, with note-perfect world building as strong as that in his novels. This collection, which focuses on more recent work, opens with “The Sky That Wraps the World Around, Past the Blue and into the Black,” in which the narrator paints ancient shards end-of-the-universe blue. “Achilles, Sulking in His Buick” is a delightful street-racing interpretation of the Trojan War’s key events. There are two new stories as well: “Coming for Green,” which tells of an agent of the Lily Goddess sent to retrieve Green, and “To This Their Late Escape,” which is part of Lake’s satisfying take on space opera. There are also a number of stories set in what Lake calls the Portland wizards arc, including the first one, “The Number of the Bus,” which focuses on a wizard whose power comes from a city bus. Lake covers quite a bit of ground, from the mythic to the futuristic, and does it all with a strong take on the human element and genuinely fantastic tales. –Booklist