by Stephen Volk
(story collection, Gray Friar Press, 2006)
(cover; Ben Baldwin)
A strapped-for-cash undertaker who is given an unspeakable task to perform... Two sisters who leave a saucer of milk out for something that isn't human - and may not be real... A Hollywood agent who has a problem with rats: for once, the four-legged kind... A group of ragamuffin children who find a body during the London Blitz: and decide to keep it... A city businessman's memory of his father, and the day his life changed forever...
"BAFTA-winning writer Stephen Volk outraged the critics with his first screenplay, Ken Russell's Gothic, and shocked an unsuspecting nation with his notorious BBC TV Halloween hoax Ghostwatch. His new, gripping supernatural drama series Afterlife was called "Terrific television" (The Guardian) and "Unmissable" (Mail on Sunday).
This first collection of his short fiction, like his best work for the screen, combines scenes of intense physical and psychological horror, with moments aching sadness and poignancy. Not without occasional stabs of black humour. Whether exploring traditional ghost stories reminiscent of the past, disturbing crimes of the present, or the wild imaginings of a far flung future, Volk delights in the dark corners of haunted houses and haunted people alike."
"Four of the sixteen stories appear for the first time... and they are all good." Ellen Datlow, Year's Best Fantasy and Horror
"An excellent collection" Video Vault
"The dark corners of Stephen Volk's short stories contain all that is heart-rending, grotesque and rage-inducing in the human condition. But he illuminates these enigmatic and unsettling pieces with a polished, subversive and delirious wit. This is a cracking collection." Andy Hedgecock (Associate Editor, Interzone)
Introduction by Tim Lebbon
The Best in the Business
The Latin Master
Three Fingers, One Thumb
The Anamorph of Hans Baldung Grien
The Chapel of unrest
The Fall Children
A Pair of Pince-Nez
Curious Green Colours Sleep Furiously
The Good Unknown
No Harm Done
Afterword by Stephen Volk