Laird Barron has emerged as one of the strongest voices in modern horror and dark fantasy fiction, building on the eldritch tradition pioneered by writers such as H. P. Lovecraft, Peter Straub, and Thomas Ligotti. His stories have garnered critical acclaim and been reprinted in numerous year's best anthologies and nominated for multiple awards, including the Crawford, International Horror Guild, Shirley Jackson, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Awards. His debut collection, The Imago Sequence and Other Stories, was the inaugural winner of the Shirley Jackson Award.
He returns with his second collection, Occultation. Pitting ordinary men and women against a carnivorous, chaotic cosmos, Occultation's eight tales of terror (two never before published) include the Theodore Sturgeon and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated story "The Forest" and Shirley Jackson Award nominee "The Lagerstatte." Featuring an introduction by Michael Shea, Occultation brings more of the spine-chillingly sublime cosmic horror Laird Barron's fans have come to expect.
Writing with a poet's eye for detail and a folklorist's understanding of mythos, Barron lives up to his reputation for elegant, subtle, and nightmare-inducing tales with a Lovecraftian edge in his second short story collection (after 2007's The Imago Sequence and Other Stories), which includes six reprints and three original stories. In The Lagerst tte, a woman who cannot come to terms with her husband's loss clings to an occult artifact said to reunite lovers whom death has separated. A guerrilla art exhibit turns murderous in the taut and bloody Strappado. A mysterious guidebook leads four men on a terrifying camping trip in Mysterium Tremendum. Heartbreaking, hilarious, sophisticated, and gory, these stories will thrill, trouble, and haunt Barron's fans and have newcomers scrambling to search for his other work.
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Some shorts were so so, but others are exceptional horror pieces making the purchase worthwhile and providing many hours of excellent entertainment. If you like King, Lovecraft....you will find a new favorite author.