Hannah, noted for his violent and explicit tales, primarily about the south, died this year. I’m not sure what put this title on my radar, but it is a remarkable collection of short stories. Not a few of them concern Jeb Stuart and his Confederate mates, and there are a couple of the titular contraptions. Most are about people embroiled in a high-stakes version of life: lying and dying. Hannah’s got a way with language and an almost-magical realism that weaves his characters in and out of the natural world. His range of styles and concerns is impossibly broad, from science- to historical- fiction and a mess more besides, and the collection ends with a nod to the Dubliners, which made me realize exactly whose stories these reminded me of.