Greener Pastures

Apex Publications
7
Free sample

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.
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3.3
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Additional Information

Publisher
Apex Publications
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Published on
Dec 31, 2017
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Pages
165
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ISBN
9781370129577
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Language
English
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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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When I drew nigh the nameless city I knew it was accursed. I was traveling in a parched and terrible valley under the moon, and afar I saw it protruding uncannily above the sands as parts of a corpse may protrude from an ill-made grave. Fear spoke from the age-worn stones of this hoary survivor of the deluge, this great-grandfather of the eldest pyramid; and a viewless aura repelled me and bade me retreat from antique and sinister secrets that no man should see, and no man else had dared to see..

Remote in the desert of Araby lies the nameless city, crumbling and inarticulate, its low walls nearly hidden by the sands of uncounted ages. It must have been thus before the first stones of Memphis were laid, and while the bricks of Babylon were yet unbaked. There is no legend so old as to give it a name, or to recall that it was ever alive; but it is told of in whispers around campfires and muttered about by grandams in the tents of sheiks so that all the tribes shun it without wholly knowing why. It was of this place that Abdul Alhazred the mad poet dreamed of the night before he sang his unexplained couplet: That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons death may die.

I should have known that the Arabs had good reason for shunning the nameless city, the city told of in strange tales but seen by no living man, yet I defied them and went into the untrodden waste with my camel.

I alone have seen it, and that is why no other face bears such hideous lines of fear as mine; why no other man shivers so horribly when the night wind rattles the windows. When I came upon it in the ghastly stillness of unending sleep it looked at me, chilly from the rays of a cold moon amidst the desert’s heat. And as I returned its look I forgot my triumph at finding it, and stopped still with my camel to wait for the dawn.

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

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