Michel Faber's first collection of short stories reveals an extraordinarily vivid imagination, a deep love of language and an adventurous versatility. Playful, yet profoundly moving, wickedly satirical yet sincerely humane, these tales never fail to strike unexpected chords. The title story, 'Some Rain Must Fall' (winner of the 1998 Ian St James Award), juxtaposes the tragic circumstances of traumatised schoolchildren with the interior monologue of a teacher/psychologist enlisted to aid their recovery. In the pseudo-sci-fi 'Fish' (winner of the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday competition in 1996) a mother tries to protect her child in a terrifying world where fish swim through the streets and lurk in alleyways. Faber has an exciting talent, rich and assured, with a dazzling reach. Some Rain Must Fall is one of the most engaging debuts for years and is refreshingly different from anything else you are likely to read this year.