LOST PLACES by Simon Kurt Unsworth. Ashcroft, BC, Canada; Ash-Tree Press; 2010. 1st edition hardcover.
ISBN: 978-1-55310-119-2; x + 196pp.
Published March 2010; Limited to 400 copies.
Jacket design by Jason Van Hollander from a photograph by Wendy Unsworth.
Advance Praise for LOST PLACES:
Deceptively amiable, but creepy as hell—Unsworth's horror stories are all the more powerful because they're told about characters like you and me, and the evils that are hidden just out of sight of everyday. There's a humanity to this work that makes its macabre twists all the crueler. (Rob Shearman, 2008 World Fantasy Award Winner)
Vivid and creepily effective, these are gripping tales of the relentlessly pursued, twisting shadows, half-seen shapes, the goodbye kiss of a ghost, and the terror of imaginary beings. With the rustling pungence of M. R. James and the claustrophobic interiority of Ramsey Campbell, Simon Kurt Unsworth gear-shifts from innocuous to disturbing deftly enough to give the most hardened of us nightmares. (Stephen Vok, BAFTA Award-winning author of GHOSTWATCH)
Simon Unsworth possesses that elusive gift they call 'storytelling'. His main strength is that he knows intuitively how to structure a tale to keep you reading right till the end, even when that end is less than happy for his characters. Here is a writer who knows the value of his craft and he's damn well going to use it, no matter who gets hurt in the process. (Gary McMahon)
Rather than providing comfort, the soul rending humanity and beguiling sense of nostalgia which permeate these stories ultimately serve only to impenetrably blacken their dark and unforgiving hearts. An emotionally devastating debut collection from a powerful new voice in horror. (Mark Morris)
The most impressive debut from any horror writer that I have seen in a very long time. From the terrifying 'Old Man's Pantry' to the sublimely chilling 'Church on the Island' (which was rightly nominated for the World Fantasy Award), Simon Kurt Unsworth's debut collection delivers the goods in every respect. Frightening, evocative, and highly recommended! (Lawrence C. Connolly)
SIMON KURT UNSWORTH was born in 1972 and lives in the north of England, somewhere between Lancaster and Morecambe, with his gorgeous wife, exuberant son, and two dogs rescued from the local dogs' home. By profession he works for a charity as a trainer, working across the whole of the U.K., which gives him plenty of time on trains to write stories. His work has previously been published by the BBC, by Ash-Tree Press in their anthologies At Ease with the Dead and Shades of Darkness, in Gaslight Grotesque: Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes, and in Ellen Datlow's anthology Lovecraft Unbound. His story from At Ease with the Dead, 'The Church on the Island', was reprinted in Stephen Jones's Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #19 and was a 2008 World Fantasy Award nominee for Best Short Story. It has also been selected for inclusion in the Very Best of Best New Horror. This is his first collection.
CONTENTS: Introduction by Barbara Roden; A Different Morecambe; Haunting Marley; The Derwentwater Shark; When the World Goes Quiet; Old Man's Pantry; Scucca; Flappy the Bat; A Meeting of Gemmologists; Where Cats Go; The Baking of Cakes; The Lemon in the Pool; Stevie's Duck; Forest Lodge; The Station Waiting Room; The Animal Game; An Afternoon with Danny; The Pennine-Tower Restaurant; The Church on the Island; Endword/Story Notes.
Fine in fine dj.