- Series: Persons Non Grata (Book 2)
- Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: Tor.com (August 29, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765397404
- ISBN-13: 978-0765397409
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #722,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Song for Quiet (Persons Non Grata) Paperback – August 29, 2017
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"A Song for Quiet is a moving story of music, monsters and grief." ―Victor LaValle, author of The Ballad of Black Tom
"Khaw continues to demonstrate her mastery of seductive short-form horror, juxtaposing the disgusting and relentlessly terrifying with moments of exquisite beauty in ways that make it impossible to look away." ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Gritty, unflinching, and unexpected, A Song for Silence has an infectious Blues rhythm that's impossible to ignore.” ―Angela Slatter, World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings
PRAISE FOR HAMMERS ON BONE
"A glorious fusion of the classic noir detective thriller with Lovecraftian horror. Possibly the most promising horror debut of 2016, a suitable light in these dark times." ―Charles Stross, author of the Laundry Files
"Cassandra Khaw's explosive, evocative prose is a treat to read. Khaw's ability to transform the mundane into the deeply phantasmagorical is nothing short of magical. Prepare to take a long leap into the gory, the weird, and the fantastic in the hands of a fresh new voice in fiction." ―Kameron Hurley, Hugo Award-winning author of Mirror Empire and The Geek Feminist Revolution
"The drearily everyday is infused with Lovecraftian dread in a marvelously horrifying, tightly built novella that spins a satisfying tale while doing honor to both of its core sources." ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Khaw paints a bleak yet potent alternate reality in which monsters―friend or foe―are devastatingly real. Persons strikes a perfect antihero stance that is emotionally fragile despite his supernatural power. Hammers on Bone is a brilliant blend of two venerable genres as well as a deeply affecting tale on its own." ―Shelf Awareness, starred review
"Khaw has a definite flair for the grotesque." ―RT Book Reviews
"Sizzling prose over a steamy noir beat with horrific monstrosities throughout. A helluva read." ―Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper and Midnight Taxi Tango
"Hammers on Bone is a delectable surprise, a discomfiting nightmare in novella shape, its eyes looking back at you to ask: who are the real monsters, little reader?" ―Book Smugglers
"Absolutely fantastic monsters-meet-gritty-noir story." ―Mike Laidlaw, creative director for Dragon Age
“Atmospheric Lovecraftian noir with a really tremendous eye for detail… If you like Dashiel Hammett and Lovecraft, this is a very effective blend.” ―Aliette de Bodard, Nebula Award-winning author of The House of Shattered Wings
"This is jolly good. You really ought to read this." ―Jonathan L. Howard, author of the Johannes Cabal and Carter & Lovecraft series
"So hardboiled you could crack demon heads with it, this twisting and turning Lovecraftian PI mystery is a delight. Cassandra Khaw ― fast becoming one of the hottest names in fantasy fiction ― has a light, assured touch and an inimitable style. I’ll read anything she writes." ―Lavie Tidhar, World Fantasy Award-winning author of A Man Lies Dreaming and The Violent Century
"Cassandra Khaw blows the dust off Lovecraft's prose to resurrect the Elder Gods in a white-hot, eyeball-popping adventure." ―Ferrett Steinmetz, author of Flex
"Khaw is one of the most exciting writers I've seen emerge in the past two years. [Hammers on Bone] is Lovecraftian in all the best ways." ―Silvia Moreno-Garcia, author of Certain Dark Things
"One hell of a delicious, hardbitten, unflinching experience." ―Alyssa Wong, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author of "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers"
About the Author
CASSANDRA KHAW writes horror, press releases, video games, articles about video games, and tabletop RPGs. These are not necessarily unrelated items. Her work can be found in professional short story magazines such as Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Fireside Fiction, Uncanny, and the scientific journal Nature. Cassandra’s first original novella Hammers on Bone came out in October 2016. To her mild surprise, people seem to enjoy it.
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Video games, film, TV -- these media render all manner of plots, characters, and settings. Sometimes these qualities are shallow, insipid, and uninspired. Sometimes they are moving, brilliant, intense. They are media of images.
A book is a beast of prose. A maw slavering poetry. Claws composed of clauses.
Cassandra Khaw has tamed this monster. Is the story good? Yes. Are the characters interesting? Yes. Does the setting intrigue? Of course. But Khaw's strength is the precision with which she elects words, constructs sentences, creates music...
The tale follows a bluesman shortly after the death of his father. It opens on a ride up to Lovecraft Country. Arkham. The previous Persons Non Grata entry, Hammers on Bone, threads through the narrative delicately. No, you need not read the past book to grasp this one. Yes, doing so carries a kind of joy. On the trip up to Arkham, something goes wrong. Deacon, our bluesman, is drawn, has always been drawn, into a matter over his head, a conflict incomprehensible. There is an apocalypse growing inside of him.
Read it for the story, yes. Read it for the characters. Read it for setting and mythos and all the other reasons.
Read it because Cassandra Khaw's writing is, as always, a masterclass in craft.
Read it because it has something to say, and also because it says it so damned well. There is a violence of poetry splattered across these pages. A bloodstained truth gnashing broken teeth between the layers of paper pulp.
The book's prose is matched by the raw feeling at its core. A Song for Quiet doesn't capture grief so much as let it in, inviting the reader to entertain the cold tickle of the void at the back of their mind. Khaw's characters hurt and allow us to hurt with them. They also hope, struggle, fight and love. The most defining moments from Khaw's novel are simple acts of human compassion and it's these moments that stick with you past the final page.
A Song for Quiet is a worthy addition to Khaw's works. It's cosmic but personal, heavy with grief yet ultimately uplifting. At a brisk 112 pages, it's the perfect way to wake up a dull afternoon.