14 stories including 6 never before translated, featuring Unravelling the Thread selected in Year's Best Science Fiction of 1999 and Watch Me When I Sleep included in Year's Best Fantasy and Horror of 2002. "One of the most talented imaginations living today... Feast upon the imagination of Dunyach." - David Brin.
* Arthur Conan Doyle takes Professor Challenger to the South of France to meet Professor Picard, Irene Adler and a horror from the ancient past. ("A treat... read it and grin," Tangent Online)
* What extraordinary secrets lie in the weave of an ancient carpet? (Voted Best Story of 1998, Interzone; "particularly strong," scifi.com.)
* A young boy accidentally swallows a fairy. ("An intriguing glimpse into a different world," BestSF.net; "A disturbing fairy tale," Strange Horizons.)
* Mysterious cocoons fall to Earth, bringing alien revelations. ("Vivid and engaging," Tangent Online.)
* What do corpses do to other corpses at night? ("Gripping... disquieting," Tangent Online.)
* In cyberspace all intelligences are edible. ("Worthy of Philip K. Dick," Mauvais Genres.)
* In a time when murder is punished by total memory wipe, a man sets out to create a cadre of assassins.
With stories translated on both sides of the Atlantic in Interzone, On Spec, and the Year's Best sf and fantasy/horror sequences, Jean-Claude Dunyach is possibly the contemporary French sf writer best known to an English-speaking audience. This first English collection includes fourteen stories of which six have never been translated before, and shows Dunyach to be a writer of remarkable range...
The Night Orchid is one of the most successful single-author collections I've read for some time and the attention given to some of the stories is well-deserved.
Andy Sawyer (The Alien Online)
If you’ve been following Interzone over the past few years, you’ve surely encountered the amazing stories of French writer (and aeronautical engineer) Jean-Claude Dunyach. If you haven’t been so lucky, now’s your chance to acquaint yourself with his work, in the form of The Night Orchid. This collection assembles fourteen of his tales, six of which have never been rendered into English before. (The four translators–Sheryl Curtis, Jean-Louis Trudel, Dominque Bennett, and Ann Cale–do a marvelous, seamless job, by the way.) Here you’ll read about Professor Challenger battling pterodactyls in France (the title story); six juvenile killers who turn on their mentor ("The Parliament of Birds"); an artist whose medium is "slices of time" ("Scenes at the Exhibit"); and a colony of aliens stranded on Earth, who meet yearly for a strange ritual ("Footprints in the Snow"). And this merely cites four wonderful examples. Dunyach at various times evokes comparisons to Ballard, Lem, van Vogt, Zivkovic, or Gibson, but is always recognizably his own unique self. In my favorite story, "Watch Over Me When I Sleep," a shepherd boy swallows a fairy and finds his life forever blighted. George MacDonald himself could not have written a more transcendent fable.
Paul di Filippo (Asimov's)
The Night Orchid: Conan Doyle in Toulouse by Jean-Claude Dunyach, with a foreword by David Brin. The work of the award-winning French science-fiction writer is not unknown to the cognoscenti, but it's good to have fourteen of his best stories in an attractive collection. Only the title story is really relevant here, involving as it does both Arthur Conan Doyle and the young George Edward Challenger in a thrilling encounter with a monster from the distant past. There's also a beautiful and brave young woman named Irène Ader [*sic*] and a flying machine. All this in the French city of Toulouse! It's a story that would not have been out of place in The Strand Magazine a hundred years ago.
The District Messenger