Synopses & Reviews
A serial killer is removing victims' hands in a Venice shackled by winter.
A woman at the end of her tether finds a terrible release on holiday in the fens of East Anglia.
A man is haunted by graffiti, and finds that his road to discovering the perpetrator leads to death. and worse.
A husband trying to comfort his terminally ill wife seeks help in a forbidden zone from his childhood, where blood is the price of perfection.
In this spellbinding collection of his best stories from the last ten years, award-winning writer Conrad Williams offers the kind of horrors that move subtly into you, like pain, or love, or regret. They are stories that explore the scarred outposts of desperation and desire, sickness and death, sex and decay.
Within these pages you will also find the acclaimed novella Nearly People (nominated for awards by the International Horror Guild and the British Fantasy Society), in which a woman's search for food in a nightmarish city brings her attention from an enigmatic man known as The Dancer, and a host of terrible epiphanies.
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Includes three stories never before seen: Nest of Salt, The Night Before and The Owl.
The Light that Passes Through You
Nest of Salt
City in Aspic
The Night Before
The Suicide Pit
Excuse the Unusual Approach
"In these 17 mostly urban horror stories from British author Williams (London Revenant), memory is often unreliable and reality is just as untrustworthy. A typical tale edges into the surreal and sometimes the supernatural, then turns to madness and violence. These disturbing fictions pose a great many questions that are, on second thought, perhaps better left unanswered. If violence itself is seldom shown, its immediate aftermath is. Even the tales that seem abruptly truncated or intentionally obscure still leave vivid impressions. In 'Nest of Salt,' a man obsessively seeks Circus Street, a hidden 'blackspot' of London that's a 'nexus of filth.' In 'The Owl,' a young British couple expecting their first child settles into a fixer-upper in a small French village. Minor stress is amplified and adroitly twisted into wrenching disaster. The near-future novella 'Nearly People,' which was nominated for awards by both the British Fantasy Society and the International Horror Guild, depicts a grim quarantined sector whose inhabitants suffer from disease and starvation. A woman there receives a glimpse of hope or does she? We're rarely sure of anything in these depraved and elegantly ambivalent stories, except that Williams writes with a poetic brutality that definitely makes him a dark voice to note. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This spellbinding collection of British Fantasy Society Award-nominated author Conrad Williams' best stories from the last decade offers the kind of horrors that move subtly, like pain, or love, or regret. They are stories that explore the scarred outposts of desperation and desire, sickness and death, sex and decay.