Want to see something weird? Embrace the odd. Satisfy your curiosity. Surrender to wonder.
From Crystal Lake Publishing and the Bram Stoker Award-nominated co-editor of the smash hit Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories comes Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders.
Sixteen stories and two poems take you into the spaces between the ordinary—and the imaginations of some of today's masters of dark and thrilling fiction.
- A travel writer learns the terrible secrets at a hotel that's not at all as it seems.
- A disfigured woman and her daughter explore methods of weaponizing beauty.
- An amateur beekeeper acquires an object that shows her the true
danger of the hive-mind.
- Drifters ride the rails seeking something wondrous that could change their fates forever.
- A strange creature that holds our very existence in its hands shapes the lives of two lovers to touching and devastating effect.
- A young man helps his grandfather—and something much more monstrous—atone for bargains made during wartime.
- And much, much more…
Featuring Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Morton, Brian Kirk, Hal Bodner, Stephanie M. Wytovich, John Langan, Erinn L. Kemper, John F.D. Taff, Patrick Freivald, Lucy A. Snyder, Brian Hodge, Kristi DeMeester, Christopher Coake, Sarah Read and Richard Thomas. Foreword by Josh Malerman. Illustrations by Luke Spooner. Cover art by John Coulthart. Brought to you by Bram Stoker Award-nominated editor Doug Murano and Crystal Lake Publishing. Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Interview with the editor:
What kinds of short stories will readers find in this anthology?
Doug Murano: I wanted this book to encompass a lot of the things I love about weird fiction, fantasy and horror—as well as give a tip of my cap to some of the things I loved growing up. So, it’s not exclusively a horror anthology, though you’ll find there’s plenty of darkness and dread throughout the book.
It was important to me that the stories throughout the anthology embraced and celebrated the odd—so you're not going to find stories of big-top exploitation or carnival freak shows here. The closest, perhaps, you'll find to this angle is in Lisa Morton's story—but that piece turns the freak-show trope on its head and aspires to something much more daring, interesting, and, ultimately, haunting.
Some tonal touch-points for much of the book are actually Jim Henson's work — like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal — particularly in the Undefinable Wonders section. I also drew tonal influences from Guillermo del Toro’s filmography, especially his Spanish-language films like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. As in those films, there’s terror and darkness here, but there’s beauty, wonder, and magic, as well. In other words, the book is willfully bizarre, wide-ranging, and beautifully strange.