Still So Strange

ChiZine Publications
Free sample

2019 World Fantasy Award Finalist: Chilling, atmospheric stories from “one of the very best dark fantastical writers working today” (Bracken MacLeod, author of Stranded).
 
Drawing heavily on Lovecraftiana and myth, these are tales of devil’s bargains, love songs to monsters, and the people—human and otherwise—who inhabit liminal spaces. Ghosts, gods, and ghouls make their way as best they can, one step sideways from the mortals around them. Many are connected; some are puzzle pieces that don’t quite fit.
 
Spanning a decade of writing, Still So Strange is Amanda Downum’s first collection of short fiction, and includes stories originally released in Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, and Weird Tales, as well as orisginal, never-before-published work.
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About the author

Amanda Downum is an author of fantasy and horror based out of Austin, Texas. Her short fiction and poetry has appeared in The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu, Dreams from the Witch House, Strange Horizons, and more. Her novels include Dreams of Shreds and Tatters (Solaris) and The Necromancer Chronicles (The Drowning City, The Bone Palace, and Kingdom of Dust) from Orbit.

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Additional Information

Publisher
ChiZine Publications
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Published on
Apr 24, 2018
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Pages
300
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ISBN
9781771484404
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy
Fiction / Horror
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the author of the Bram Stoker Award–winning Dawn Song: “The kind of horror that gets under your skin and picks away at your brain” (Tor.com).
 
Stories from the Plague Years is the first fiction collection from award-winning fantasy author Michael Marano. Nine tales arranged in a haunting symphony that guide readers through a tour of the darkest landscapes of human existence.
 
Here, fury and hate grow so strong, they cannot be held within one man’s body, and manifest themselves to devastating effect. Cities contain second, unseen cities populated by the vengeful ghosts of those who died too soon. Countries fall to famine and war. But these are also the tales of love lasting beyond death, love existing beyond all hope, and friendships never forgotten. Within are the widely praised stories “Winter Requiem,” “The Siege,” and the controversial “Burden,” as well as two original novellas, including the Shirley Jackson Award–nominated “Displacement.”
 
Marano, acclaimed for his evocative voice, paints lush portraits both terrifying and tender, injecting even the darkest of fantasies with a punk rock sensibility and a touch of the humane. With Stories from the Plague Years, he presents snapshots of a time when our world collided with evil, sickness, and self-destruction, and left behind lasting scars on those who dared to survive.
 
“Few horror authors are better equipped to write about madness than Marano. With an expansive vocabulary, a tenacious commitment to poetic prose, and a willingness to follow whatever discursive paths his whim takes, Marano is an acquired taste—but without doubt possessed of a unique talent.” —Booklist
Winner of the World Fantasy Award—“Should single out Marshall as one of the most accomplished writers of the fantastic being published today” (This Is Horror).
 
Ghost thumbs. Microscopic dogs. One very sad can of tomato soup . . . Helen Marshall’s second collection offers a series of twisted surrealities that explore the legacies we pass on to our children. A son seeks to reconnect with his father through a telescope that sees into the past. A young girl discovers what lies on the other side of her mother’s bellybutton. Death’s wife prepares for a very special funeral. In Gifts for the One Who Comes After, Marshall delivers eighteen tales of love and loss that cement her as a powerful voice in dark fantasy and the New Weird. Dazzling, disturbing, and deeply moving.
 
“Helen Marshall is a writer who creates real people in real situations, then uses the fantastic to pry her way inside her readers’ ribcages and break us wide open.” —Neil Gaiman, New York Times–bestselling author of American Gods
 
“Helen Marshall whispers in your ear when she fits the noose around your neck, filling you with wonder and dread, urging you into a startling, beautiful darkness. These stories—which sometimes feel more like spells—are the very best kind of unsettling.” —Benjamin Percy, author of The Dark Net
 
“In turns chilling, heart-wrenching and uplifting. Marshall has a way with words that makes even the most peculiar seem possible, and the stories here are each so layered with character and meaning, they are like perfect, condensed novels.” —Kaaron Warren, award-winning author of Tide of Stone
A novel of time, trauma, and terror by “a writer of spectacularly unflinching gifts [who] leaves most contemporary horror writing in the dust” (Peter Straub).
 
“You wouldn’t think events happening years apart, at points in the solar system hundreds of millions of miles distant, would have anything to do with each other.”
When she was six, Daphne was taken into a neighbor’s toolshed, and came within seconds of never coming out alive. Most of the scars healed. Except for the one that went all the way through.
 
“You wouldn’t think that the serial murders of children, and the one who got away, would have any connection with the strange fate of one of Jupiter’s moons.”
Two decades later, when Daphne goes missing again, it’s nothing new. As her exes might agree, running is what she does best. So her brother Tanner sets out one more time to find her. Whether in the mountains, or in his own family, search-and-rescue is what he does best.
 
“But it does. It’s all connected. Everything’s connected.”
Down two different paths, along two different timelines, Daphne and Tanner both find themselves trapped in a savage hunt for the rarest people on earth, by those who would slaughter them on behalf of ravenous entities that lurk outside of time.
 
“So when things start to unravel, it all starts to unravel.”
But in ominous signs that have traveled light-years to be seen by human eyes, and that plummet from the sky, the ultimate truth is revealed: There are some things in the cosmos that terrify even the gods.
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