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About Michael Wehunt
Michael Wehunt grew up in North Georgia, close enough to the Appalachians to feel them but not quite easily see them. There were woods and woodsmoke and warmth. He did not make it far when he left, falling sixty miles south to the lost city of Atlanta, where he lives today, with fewer woods but still many trees. He writes. He reads. Robert Aickman fidgets next to Flannery O’Connor on his favorite bookshelf.
His short fiction has appeared in various places, such as The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, The Year's Best Weird Fiction, Cemetery Dance, The Dark, and The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu. His debut collection, Greener Pastures, shortlisted for the Crawford Award and a Shirley Jackson Award finalist, is available from Apex Publications. He is at work on his first novel, with a second collection of stories on the way. Visit him at www.michaelwehunt.com.
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*2016 Shirley Jackson Award nominee for Single-Author Collection*
In his striking debut collection, Greener Pastures, Michael Wehunt shows why he is a powerful new voice in horror and weird fiction.
From the round-robin, found-footage nightmare of “October Film Haunt: Under the House” to the jazz-soaked “The Devil Under the Maison Blue,” selected for both The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror and Year’s Best Weird Fiction, these beautifully crafted, emotionally resonant stories speak of the unknown encroaching upon the familiar, the inscrutable power of grief and desire, and the thinness between all our layers. Where nature rubs against small towns, in mountains and woods and bedrooms, here is strangeness seen through a poet’s eye.
They say there are always greener pastures. These stories consider the cost of that promise.
For more than 80 years H. P. Lovecraft has inspired writers of horror and supernatural fiction with his dark vision of humankind's insignificant place in a vast, uncaring cosmos. At the time of his death in 1937, Lovecraft was virtually unknown, but from early cult status his readership expanded exponentially; his nightmarish visions laying down roots in the collective imagination of his readers. Now this master of the macabre is accepted as part of the literary mainstream, as an American author of note, and the impact of his work on modern popular culture - in literature, film, television, music, the graphic arts, gaming and theatre - has been profound. As Stephen King wrote in Danse Macabre, the shadow of H. P. Lovecraft 'underlies almost all of the important horror fiction that has come since.'
Today, Lovecraft's themes of cosmic indifference, the utter insignificance of humankind, minds invaded by the alien, and the horrors of history remain not only viable motifs for modern speculative fiction, but are more relevant than ever as we explore the mysteries of a universe in which our planet is infinitesimal.
This outstanding anthology of original stories - from both established award-winning authors and exciting new voices - collects tales of cosmic horror inspired by Lovecraft from authors who do not merely imitate, but reimagine, re-energize, and renew the best of his concepts in ways relevant to today's readers, to create fresh new fiction that explores our modern fears and nightmares. From the depths of R'lyeh to the heights of the Mountains of Madness, some of today's best weird fiction writers traverse terrain created by Lovecraft and create new eldritch geographies to explore . . .
With stories by: Laird Barron, Nadia Bulkin, Amanda Downum, Ruthanna Emrys, Richard Gavin, Lois H. Gresh, Lisa L. Hannett, Brian Hodge, Caitlín R. Kiernan, John Langan, Yoon Ha Lee, Usman T. Malik, Helen Marshall, Silvia Moreno, Norman Partridge, W. H. Pugmire, Veronica Schanoes, Michael Shea, John Shirley, Simon Strantzas, Sandra McDonald, Damien Angelica Walters, Don Webb, Michael Wehunt and A.C. Wise
Praise for the editor:
'For fans of Lovecraftian fiction and well-wrought horror' - Library Journal
'Guran smartly selects stories that evoke the spirit of Lovecraft's work without mimicking its style.' - Publishers Weekly
'It's a pretty impressive line-up, with nary a clunker to be found. . . . You don't have to be a Lovecraft fan to enjoy this anthology... You'll find alienation, inhumanity, desperation, cruelty, insanity, hopelessness and despair, all set against the backdrop of a vast, unknowable universe filled with vile, indifferent monstrosities. You'll also find beauty, hope, redemption, and the struggle for survival. What more can you ask for?' - Tor.com
'I highly recommend this collection... If you have even the slightest interest in contemporary horror fiction, you'll want to try this one on for size!' - BookGuide
***Finalist for the World Fantasy Award***
***Finalist for the British Fantasy Award***
'The Dying Season,' by Lynda E. Rucker, Winner of the Shirley Jackson Award.
'Seven Minutes in Heaven,' by Nadia Bulkin, Finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award.
'Underground Economy,' by John Langan, reprinted in the Best Horror of the Year.
'Underground Economy,' by John Langan, reprinted in the Best New Horror.
'The Lake,' by Daniel Mills, reprinted in Best New Horror.
'Seaside Town,' by Brian Evenson, reprinted in Year's Best Weird Fiction.
'Seven Minutes in Heaven,' by Nadia Bulkin, reprinted in Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror.
'Camp,' by David Nickle, reprinted in Wilde Stories: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction.
Edited by Simon Strantzas, "Aickman's Heirs" is an anthology of strange, weird tales by modern visionaries of weird fiction, in the milieu of Robert Aickman, the master of strange and ambiguous stories. Editor and author Strantzas, an important figure in Weird fiction, has been hailed as the heir to Aickman's oeuvre, and is ideally suited to edit this exciting volume. Featuring all-original stories from Brian Evenson, Lisa Tuttle, John Langan, Helen Marshall, Michael Cisco, and others.
Acclaimed editors Simon Strantzas and Michael Kelly bring their keen editorial sensibilities to the third volume of the Year's Best Weird Fiction. The best weird stories of 2015 features work from Robert Aickman, Matthew M. Bartlett, Sadie Bruce, Nadia Bulkin, Ramsey Campbell, Brian Conn, Brian Evenson, L.S. Johnson, Rebecca Kuder, Tim Lebbon, Reggie Oliver, Lynda E. Rucker, Robert Shearman, Christopher Slatsky, D.P. Watt, Michael Wehunt, Marian Womack, Genevieve Valentine
No longer the purview of esoteric readers, weird fiction is enjoying wide popularity. Chiefly derived from early 20th-century pulp fiction, its remit includes ghost stories, the strange and macabre, the supernatural, fantasy, myth, philosophical ontology, ambiguity, and a healthy helping of the outre. At its best, weird fiction is an intersecting of themes and ideas that explore and subvert the Laws of Nature. It is not confined to one genre, but is the most diverse and welcoming of all genres.
The acclaimed literary anthology Shadows & Tall Trees has featured authors short-listed for the Man Booker Award, and World Fantasy Award winners. Several of our stories have been reprinted in "Year's Best" anthologies and have garnered numerous award nominations. This volume features all-oroiginal new fiction from these masters of weird fiction:
Steve Rasnic Tem
This is a ghost story. It has those that scratch at bedroom doors and tap at windows, wanting to be let in. It has those that haunt all of us, long after the others tire of the scratching. For some, doors are not enough.
Bea Holcombe loves her life in Fontaine Falls, a perfect little town tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. She has never thought to question that love until her next-door neighbor opens fire on a crowd of black demonstrators gathered in the city park to protest the town’s Confederate statue. Lester Neal has torn open an invisible wound in Fontaine Falls, and what festers inside of it will change Bea, her family, and the dimming mind of her mother forever.
As the national media descends and violence spreads, the town endures a conflict it is no longer insulated from. Bea is given a special sight so that she may witness how deep the rot has burrowed inside the postcard charm of Fontaine Falls. And she will be asked to turn the light of scrutiny and complicity upon herself as she is visited by horrors that won’t rest quietly. “This is a ghost story,” she tells us repeatedly. This unflinching, poetic novella is an examination of that claim—its layers of truth, of untruth, and the uneasy specters that inhabit modern America.
"A very promising anthology." —Ellen Datlow, Best Horror of the Year
"An annual highlight of the genre." —Anthony Watson, Dark Musings
"Weirdness with truth at its heart." —Des Lewis, Real-Time Reviews
Table of Contents
Night-Bird | Gemma Files
Sticks and Bones | Leo Norman
A Marvelous Neutrality | Esther Saxey
Plague Mother | Jamie Killen
Greener Pastures | Michael Wehunt
Haves and Have Nots | Aaron Polson
Appearances | Craig D.B . Patton
Rockport Boys | Megan Arkenberg
Cleaning Up | Tim Waggoner
Deformed Son | Jeff Strand
Rust & Flame | Brennen Reece (Tabletop Role Playing Game)