From award-nominated writer John Langan comes a collection of uneasy meetings. A frustrated professor and his graduate student assistant accompany a group of soldiers to a remote Scottish island to learn what is buried there. A man plays an audiotape left for him by his late father and is initiated into a family story of monstrous deeds. A student learns frightening lessons in a surreal tutoring center. A young couple struggles to make their stand against a group of inhuman pursuers in a ravaged landscape. And, in a new story, an artist discovers a mysterious statue whose completion becomes his obsession.
“What a pleasure it is to read Langan’s elegant prose. What I love as a reader is the easy confidence of Langan’s skill as a writer who allows sentences to grow and bloom along the track of his protagonists’ thoughts or experiences. And yes, one hears the dedicated scholarship of Poe, of James (both Henry and M.R.) and certainly Lovecraft.-R.A. Busby, Winner of the 2020 Shirley Jackson Award for Short Fiction for her story “Not the Man I Married” (Black Petals, Issue #93)
Another pleasure is seeing a writer pull off the magic act of suspending disbelief. The reveal in the titular story shouldn’t work—and yet it does, convincingly and chillingly, as does the ultimate reveal in “Tutorial.” The story takes risks, and I was always afraid it would plunge into polemic, but again, Langan’s craft here makes it absolutely work. His stories are well-crafted worlds, realized thoroughly and artfully. I’m eager to read more.”
John Langan is the author of two novels, The Fisherman and House of Windows, and three collections of stories, Sefira and Other Betrayals, The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies, and Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters. The Fisherman won the Bram Stoker and This Is Horror Awards for superior achievement in a novel. With Paul Tremblay, Langan co-edited Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters. He’s one of the founders of the Shirley Jackson Awards, for which he served as a juror during its first three years. Currently, he reviews horror and dark fantasy for Locus magazine. In 2020, his fourth collection, Children of the Fang and Other Genealogies, will be published by Word Horde Press.
John Langan lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with his wife, younger son, and many, many animals. He holds a first-degree black belt in the Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do.
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