Chthonic Cleaning: a novelette

Austin Gragg
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The Cleaner! The only cleaner you’ll ever need.

Noah and Dillon live a peaceful life in Midwest suburbia. But when a normal household errand releases an ancient cosmic monstrosity, the couple becomes trapped in their home. For the couple to survive, Noah must face fears which have defined him for decades.

Chthonic Cleaning pulls the classic monster movie into the depths of something more slipstream and surreal, blending horror and weird fiction into a pungent cocktail you’ll find hard to put down.

“Austin Gragg is a new author on fire.” — Angela Yuriko Smith, Publisher of Space and Time Magazine and 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist.


Austin Gragg lives in Independence, Missouri. He shares Independence as a hometown not only with Harry S Truman, but two of his favorite fantasy authors, Jim Butcher and Margaret Weis, both large inspirations in him giving this writing thing a shot.

Austin is a member of the Horror Writers Association and was a 2019 finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest. When he isn't writing, reading, or spending time in his garden, he can be found playing Dungeons & Dragons with his partner, friends, and a pride of small domestic lions.

You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@austingragg), Facebook (@graggwrites), or visit him online at

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About the author

Former IT guy turned spec-fic writer and librarian, Austin Gragg lives in Independence, Missouri. Coincidentally, his hometown was also hometown to not only Harry S Truman, but two of his favorite fantasy authors, Jim Butcher and Margaret Weis, both large inspirations in him giving this writing thing a shot.

When he isn't writing, reading, or teaching digital literacy classes, he can be found playing Dungeons & Dragons with his partner, friends, and a pride of small domestic lions.

You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @austingragg or find him online at

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Additional Information

Austin Gragg
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Published on
Oct 1, 2019
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Fiction / Fantasy / Urban
Fiction / Horror
Fiction / LGBT / General
Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Science Fiction / Alien Contact
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Essay from the year 2006 in the subject Philosophy - Miscellaneous, University of Colorado at Boulder, language: English, abstract: The concept of freedom is an idea formed throughout history dealing with multiple ideas of how it ought to be described. Freedom is inherently a social trait considering human beings are social beings. The idea must come from some idea of what it means to be unfree which would make it a relational concept. This means it can only be known when comparing the relationships between people and their relative abilities to act in self-directed ways. Freedom is often described as one’s ability to be a self rationalized being, a rational being that acts in accordance with it’s higher self. Another conception of freedom is the absence of external constraints or barriers, which may prevent an individual from acting in a particular manner. The distinction between what has been described as positive and negative freedom has focused the freedom debate on whether or not men should be coerced or regulated in helping them live according to what their higher self would will, or whether they should be left alone to determining their own actions. While this distinction helps to broaden ones perspective on how freedom is to be defined, it leaves out the inseparable interplay between the two. Positive freedom cannot be had without negative freedom and vice versa. Instead the two should be taken as casually interacting and directly affecting the other. Since humans are social beings, it is of primary importance to consider freedom in social context.
Longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction! 

An instant New York Times Bestseller! 

Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal! 

Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe,, Huffington Post, The A.V. Club, Nylon, The Week, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, and more.

“A lyrical work of self-discovery that’s shockingly intimate and insistently universal…Not so much briefly gorgeous as permanently stunning.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

Poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.

With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.
Essay from the year 2015 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, , language: English, abstract: In the works of William Shakespeare there is often times an air of mystery often equated to forces of occult powers. It is my belief that the mystery conveyed through his plays is not mere tricks to entice an audience. Rather his methods involved a comprehensive understanding not only of human nature, but also of forces of higher powers. These powers are often talked about in religious studies and would have been known to most as “God”. So for the purpose of this essay we will think of God as a force rather than a being, a total and comprehensive all pervasive weaving in the fabric of time. To the person uneducated in the occult powers, it is easy to see the outrageous pieces of his art as magic. Which is like the ultimate cop out, just throwing away its value and meaning to the wind. To read Shakespeare is to feel Shakespeare, not some rational understanding. To read Shakespeare is to transport from the ephemeral material world to the eternal realm of spiritual eternity. The sense that this brings to mind is where the aesthetic pleasure of reading Shakespeare envelops the world. It is why we are still reading Shakespeare today and will continue to do so for quite some time. But to know time is to exist on a different plane than Shakespeare inhabited. For Shakespeare’s world was that of the eternal due to a super conscious understanding of the Divine. More than likely these forces were working through him because he had found a way to open himself up to the muses in order to become a muse himself. In other words we are mere fools in time and Shakespeare suffered greatly to give the world a piece of himself.
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