Results of the Bram Stoker Award in the year 2006.
A brand new collection of original dark fiction concerning itself with people, cars, and the open road.
In the novella “The Ballad of Road Mama and Daddy Bliss”, a man assigned community service duty with the city morgue after a DUI arrest is offered a simple deal: transport an old woman’s body back to her hometown, and his record will be wiped clean. But this is no typical old woman, and—as he soon discovers —he is taking her to a town that is on no map. The old woman’s identity, as well as the reasons behind the town’s secret existence, will be revealed to him over the course of a few nightmarish hours between midnight and dawn—the time when The Road demands its sacrifices.
In “Congestion”, a man who has hated cars all his life finds himself stuck in a traffic jam on a sweltering hot day…a very different type of traffic jam. …[more]
From the author of the acclaimed novel The Snowman’s Children and the award-winning collection The Two Sams comes American Morons, a new collection of dazzling and haunting tales…
Two traveling college students confront their disintegrating relationship and the new American reality in a breakdown lane along the Italian Superstrade. A woman chases the ghost of her neglectful father to a vanished amusement park at the end of the Long Beach pier. Two recently retired teachers learn just how much Los Angeles has taken from them.
In these atmospheric, wide-ranging, surprisingly playful, and deeply mournful stories, grandkids and widows, ice cream-truck drivers and judges, travelers and invalids all discover and sometimes even survive the everyday losses from which the most vengeful ghosts so often spring.
This brand new collection of fiction from the author who has been called “Australia’s finest writer of horror” by Locus magazine and “Australia’s premier writer of dark fantasy” by All Hallows and “one of the best prose stylists in science fiction and fantasy” by The Year’s Best Fantasy 4.
It’s dark in here…
Not just with the absence of light, but with things made for the dark, things that work best when the wind is in the trees and the sun has gone from the sky.
There’s a carnival, of course—and such a one!—and a six-sided mirror room on a rainy evening. There’s a model of a ship made from bone, a hotel room with the hint of a clown’s face on the wall, a gun that grows its own bullets (you know they…[more]
The collection opens as Rev. Sutton Conway acquires a biblical artifact – a copy of the Ten Commandments written in Hebrew-Phoenician script dated at 2500 years old. Ten stories, each formulated around a commandment, then unfold, followed by the conclusion.
Mixing the mundane with the metaphysical, the pairings of the everyday and the extraordinary in this collection of short fiction yield supernatural results—a young musician perceives another world while drinking coffee, a fairy chronicles his busy life in a sandcastle during the changing tide, a demonic 16th-century chess set shows up in a New Jersey bar, and Charon, the boatman of hell, takes a few days vacation. Storylines both conventional and outlandish reveal humdrum routines as menacing, or imaginary worlds as perfectly familiar. Allusions to authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and Jules Verne reinforce the fantasy tradition in these tales, while understated humor and moments of sadness add a quirky unpredictability.
Also included is the previously unpublished novella, “Botch Town,” a coming-of-age story about a boy on Long Island whose family and friends live ordinary lives under threats both real and imagined. Each story is followed by a brief afterword that details its genesis.