This short story first appeared in Playboy magazine.
Walt Baffen, an Oxford-trained archeologist, is spending his first winter alone in a remote Alaskan log cabin. All goes well until the temperature drops to minus 40 and he receives a visit by an odd neighbor with a "bone to pick." What happens next goes way beyond chilling. Not since Jack London's "To Build a Fire" has a short story made a roaring fire seem so inviting.
David Marusek spins quirky tales of science fiction in a little cabin outside Fairbanks, Alaska. He is the winner of the Sturgeon and Endeavour Awards for science fiction, and his work has been translated into ten foreign languages.
"Marusek's writing is ferociously smart, simultaneously horrific and funny, as he forces readers to stretch their imaginations and sympathies." Publisher's Weekly
"Marusek, who hitchhiked his way to Alaska from Santa Barbara in the 1970's and now lives on the outskirts of Fairbanks, may have a relatively modest body of work (just 10 short stories in print over the span of 13 years), but each of these pieces has so far proven to be as concentrated and potent as a dwarf star." Dave Itzkoff, New York Times Book Review
"Marusek has almost no equal in his ability to create a huge cast of prickly, sticky human characters who interact with utterly casual reality." Rick Kleffel