Brand-new stories by: Tom Abrahams, Robert Boswell, Sarah Cortez, Anton DiSclafani, Stephanie Jaye Evans, Wanjiku Wa Ngugi, Adrienne Perry, Pia Pico, Reyes Ramirez, Icess Fernandez Rojas, Sehba Sarwar, Leslie Contreras Schwartz, Larry Watts, and Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton. From the introduction by Gwendolyn Zepeda: In a 2004 essay, Hunter S. Thompson described Houston as a 'cruel, crazy town on a filthy river in East Texas with no zoning laws and a culture of sex, money and violence. It's a shabby, sprawling metropolis ruled by brazen women, crooked cops and super-rich pansexual cowboys who live by the code of the West - which can mean just about anything you need it to mean, in a pinch.' For what it's worth, that quote is now posted on a banner somewhere downtown and regularly, gleefully repeated by our local feature writers. Houston is a port city on top of a swamp and, yes, it has no zoning laws. And that means it's culturally diverse, internally incongruous, and ever-changing. At any intersection here, I might look out my car window and see a horse idly munching St. Augustine grass. And, within spitting distance of that horse, I might see a 'spa' thats an obvious brothel, a house turned drug den, or a swiftly rising bayou that might overtake a car if the rain doesn't let up. Because I've lived here so long, theres no story in this book I can't easily imagine taking place. Some of the plots might seem outrageous, but not compared with real-life crimes that have taken place here in the last fifty years, which have inspired books, TV movies, and Wikipedia-readers' nightmares... Right now, Houston is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in America. That creates opportunities for clashes and crimes in a wide variety of cultural combinations, throughout the city. This, too, is poignantly reflected in these stories... Overall, this collection represents the very worst our city has to offer, for residents and visitors alike. But it also presents some of our best voices, veteran and emerging, to any reader lucky enough to pick up this book.