Introduction by Paul Tremblay
Publishers Weekly top ten list for most anticipated horror/Scifi Fall 2016 releases.
Laird Barron’s fourth collection gathers a dozen stories set against the backdrops of the Alaskan wilderness, far-future dystopias, and giallo-fueled nightmare vistas.
All hell breaks loose in a massive apartment complex when a modern day Jack the Ripper strikes under cover of a blizzard; a woman, famous for surviving a massacre, hits the road to flee the limelight and finds her misadventures have only begun; while tracking a missing B-movie actor, a team of man hunters crashes in the Yukon Delta and soon realize the Arctic is another name for hell; an atomic-powered cyborg war dog loyally assists his master in the overthrow of a far-future dystopian empire; following an occult initiation ritual, a man is stalked by a psychopathic sorority girl and her team of horrifically disfigured henchmen; a rich lunatic invites several high school classmates to his mansion for a night of sex, drugs, and CIA-funded black ops experiments; and other glimpses into occulted realities a razor’s slice beyond our own.
Combining hardboiled noir, psychological horror, and the occult, Swift to Chase continues three-time Shirley Jackson Award winner Barron’s harrowing inquiry into the darkness of the human heart.
Barron's fourth collection (after 2013's Shades of Blue and Gray), containing 11 reprints and one original story, will not disappoint fans of his trademark literate, unconventional horror. Few writers would have the imagination to transform the late performance artist Andy Kaufman into a figure of deadly menace, but Barron does so brilliantly in "Andy Kaufman Creeping Through the Trees," backing up the counterintuitive conceit with pitch-perfect execution that turns Kaufman's "dopey, amiable peasant smirk" into a chilling threat. The other entries are equally solid; for example, even readers who feel that they've had enough of slasher stories will find that Barron's "Termination Dust" has something to add to the subgenre beyond the usual shock and gore. He's strong on plot and really excels in creating an atmosphere of dread, even when dealing with common story elements, such as a haunted carnival, that could come across as clich d in lesser hands.