Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Gifts For the One Who Comes After Paperback – September 15, 2014
|New from||Used from|
Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Neil Gaiman, author of Ocean at the End of the Lane
"Helen Marshall whispers in your ear when she fits the noose around your neck, filling you with wonder and dread, urging you into a startling, beautiful darkness. These stories which sometimes feel more like spells are the very best kind of unsettling."
Benjamin Percy author of Red Moon and The Wilding
"Helen Marshall is one of my favorite living writers. Her elegant, grotesque stories are best encountered like this, gathered together in a book and in conversation with each other; only then can you appreciate the staggering variety of her imagination. What unifies them, and what elevates them from being merely great fantasy to being literature, is the ache of human experience that informs them all: the yearning; the heartbreak; the desperate, misinformed love. This is life, in all its beauty and sorrow."
"Gifts For The One Who Comes After should single out Marshall as one of the most accomplished writers of the fantastic being published today, an exceptional collection likely to be among the best 2014 has to offer."
This Is Horror
". . . As she proved in her 2012 debut, Hair Side, Flesh Side, Marshall is a master at ?bizarre, myth-infused scenarios that play on a reader’s subconscious in ways creepy and oddly pleasurable. Gifts For The One Who Comes After extends this practice with a suite of tales that employ tropes borrowed from Gothic and Grand Guignol traditions, viewing quotidian reality through a distorted lens that exaggerates angles and shadows, making the real unreal or, at the very least, surreal."
The National Post
From the Back Cover
Shirley Jackson Award for Best Collection (Winner)
British Fantasy Award for Best Collection (Short-list)
Bram Stoker AWard for Best Collection (Short-list)
Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize (Long-list)
Edge Hill Short Story Prize (Long-list)
Ghost thumbs. Microscopic dogs. One very sad can of tomato soup . . . Helen Marshall’s second collection offers a series of twisted surrealities that explore the legacies we pass on to our children. A son seeks to reconnect with his father through a telescope that sees into the past. A young girl discovers what lies on the other side of her mother’s bellybutton. Death’s wife prepares for a very special funeral. In Gifts for the One Who Comes After, Marshall delivers seventeen tales of love and loss that cement her as a powerful voice in dark fantasy and the New Weird. Dazzling, disturbing, and deeply moving.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
There are many readers and critics who have already praised Helen Marshall's stories. I also praise them, because it's almost impossible not to be impressed and moved by her odd stories. This is the first time I've read a collection by Helen Marshall, but it definitely won't be the last time, because I liked this collection very much. I intend to read all of the author's books as soon as possible.
Helen Marshall's Gifts for the One Who Comes After is one of the best fantasy, dark fantasy, horror and new weird flavoured short story collections I've read to date, because it contains beautiful, moving, haunting, clever and disturbing stories that will linger on the reader's mind. The tender brutality and thrilling oddness of these stories is something to behold (this unique combination of tender brutality and oddness sets the author apart from all other similar authors).
In my opinion, Helen Marshall is clearly one of the most talented new speculative fiction authors, because she dares to explore the human condition and the workings of a human mind in an intriguing way by adding supernatural elements to everyday life and making them part of the characters' lives so that the supernatural feels at times almost natural. Reading about how the characters live their lives and how they act to different situations is genuinely interesting.
Gifts for the One Who Comes After contains the following stories:
- The Hanging Game
- Secondhand Magic
- I'm the Lady of Good Times, She Said
- Lessons in the Raising of Household Objects
- All My Love, a Fishhook
- In the Year of Omens
- The Santa Claus Parade
- The Zhanell Adler Brass Spyglass
- Death and the Girl from Pi Delta Zeta
- Crossroads and Gateways
- Ship House
- A Brief History of Science Fiction
- Supply Limited, Act Now
- We Ruin the Sky
- In the Moonlight, the Skin of You
- The Gallery of the Eliminated
- The Slipway Grey
All the stories in this collection are good, but some of them are clearly better than others. Although I enjoyed certain stories more than others, I have nothing bad to say about any of these stories, because all of them are worth reading.
At first these stories may appear to be simple, but they're anything but simple. These stories are surprisingly complex, because the author has constructed them in such a way that you'll gradually notice how much depth there is in them.
Here's a few examples of what these stories have in store for the readers:
"The Hanging Game" is a brilliantly chilling and unsettling story about a macabre children's game. The children have learned the game from their parents and thus the game is almost like a dark heritage that's passed on from generation to generation. (This story can be found online at tor.com.)
"Secondhand Magic" is a fascinating and a bit different kind of a story about magic and a young magician whose magic trick goes wrong.
"I'm the Lady of Good Times, She Said" is fascinatingly strange story about a gun, Smiley, Carl and Juney.
"Lessons in the Raising of Household Object" is a good story about a tomato soup can and a child whose mother is pregnant.
"Supply Limited, Act Now" is a fantastic story about Larry and a miniature dog.
"The Zhanell Adler Brass Spyglass" is a well written story about Danny who tries to find out what went wrong with his parents' lives.
"The Gallery of the Eliminated" is an intriguing story about a young boy called Walter and a different kind of natural history exhibition. I found it interesting that the author wrote about extinction in a fluent way in this story.
There's much more weirdness to be found on the pages of this short story collection, but I won't reveal more information about the stories. I'll only mention that I think readers will be glad to read these stories, because they're well written stories.
Helen Marshall is an author who immediately manages to impress the reader. She easily captures the reader's imagination and lures him/her into a world of fascinating weirdness, because she views the world and life through a skewed lens. She uses weirdness in a bold yet subtle way, which is one of the reasons why her stories work so well.
It's a bit difficult to describe these stories to readers who haven't read them, because they must be experienced personally to understand their subtle beauty and power. The author writes about life as it is and shows her readers what kind of joys and sorrows life brings to people: love, death, hope, darkness and wonders.
The stories in this collection feature weirdness in different ways and they differ from other authors' weird stories. The author approaches weirdness in her own way by writing about how something unexpected or horrifying happens to the characters. There are many recurring themes in this collection. It was interesting for me to see how the author used recurring themes, but didn't repeat herself.
It was fascinating to read about how the author wrote about families, parents and children. As all readers know, the relationships between family members are often complex and changes may happen in the family. In these stories the author shows how children feel about changes and how they react to new things. I've read many weird stories that feature children, but I've seldom read stories as good as these, because the author has a way of making the children behave in a believable way, because children can be quirky and are capable of reacting abruptly and even strangely to changes. For example, in "The Zhanell Adler Brass Spyglass" the author writes well about how Danny feels about his mother's male friend and decides to hate him.
Helen Marshall manages to evoke feelings of loss, love, longing and terror in the reader. Depending on the reader's taste in weird stories and stories that contain supernatural elements, these stories will either fascinate or chill the reader (or perhaps they'll do both). For me, this is a sign of a quality author, because only talented authors are capable of causing this kind of an emotional response in the reader.
I dare say that The Gifts for the One Who Comes After is one of the best collections of modern new weirdish stories published during the recent years, because it contains different kind of stories and has something for almost everybody. I think that this collection will please many readers and it will especially be of interest to readers who love the weirder side of speculative fiction.
Helen Marshall has her own unique writing style, which reminds me a bit of Nathan Ballingrud's writing style. She is capable of writing the same kind of sad, bleak and unsettling stories as Nathan Ballingrud, but her stories are also strangely beautiful and moving and thus they differ from Ballingrud's stories.
I have to mention that the illustrations by Chris Roberts look great and help to enhance the unsettling nature of the stories.
Like many other short story collections which feature weird stories, The Gifts for the One Who Comes After may or may not be of interest to certain readers, because weird stories have a tendency to either fascinate or annoy readers, but all readers who like weird stories will most likely be impressed by this collection. It's possible that newcomers who aren't familiar with this kind of genre fiction will find this collection interesting, because it's an easily accessible collection.
If you like weird and unsettling stories, The Gifts for the One Who Comes After is a must-read collection for you. In my opinion it's essential reading material for all who enjoy reading extraordinary stories.
There isn't a single story in this collection that I didn't enjoy and I now will have to go back and read her first collection from ChiZine, Hair Side, Flesh Side, which I expect should be equally as sublime and haunting as this. The stories making up Gifts for the One Who Comes After are mostly unified by character explorations around the theme of family: couples, parents, children. The frequent presence of children gives some of the stories an additional chill because of that sense (correct or not) revolving around the 'innocence' of childhood.
The opening story "The Hanging Game" is one of my favorites in the collection, and it perfectly introduces the major theme of Gifts for the One Who Comes After. In this story, children play a grim and treacherous game that has passed down through the generations in their community, a twisted tradition of ritual. "The Hanging Game" was originally published at Tor.com, so I'd encourage you to go read it there for a great sense of what the rest of this collection is like.
Disclaimer: I received a free advanced reading copy of this from ChiZine Publications via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review that originally appeared at www.Reading1000Lives.com