** Winner of the 2008 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Anthology**
In 1919 Sigmund Freud published an essay that delved deep into the tradition of horror writing and claimed to understand one of its darkest tricks. Like a mad scientist, he performed literary vivisection on a still-breathing body of work, exploring its inner anatomy, and pulling out mysterious organs for classification. His aim: to present to the world a complete theory of ‘das unheimliche’, the uncanny.
In the spirit of this great experiment, 14 leading authors have here been challenged to write fresh fictional interpretations of what the uncanny might mean in the 21st century, to update Freud’s famous checklist of what gives us the creeps, and to give the hulking canon of uncanny fiction a shot in the arm, a shock to the neck-bolts...
'It’s not too great a stretch to see Comma as the literary equivalent of Factory Records.'
- The Herald, 2 Dec.
'Delightful and disturbing'
- The Independent on Sunday, 14 Dec.
'A masterclass in understated creepiness... a deliciously macabre collection that the old Austrian might well have enjoyed.'
- Book of the Week, Time Out, 12 Jan.
'If we need the uncanny – and I suspect we do – then we also need it updating... laudable.'
- Book of the Week, The Independent, 2 Jan.
'A bold idea.'
- The Guardian, 3 Jan.