“Told with a dark wit and in beautifully controlled prose, if you’ve never read any Robert Shearman you’re in for a treat.”
Robert Shearman visits worlds that are unsettling and strange. Sometimes they are just like ours—except landlocked countries may disappear overnight, marriages to camels are the norm, and the dead turn into musical instruments. Sometimes they are quite alien—where children carve their own tongues from trees, and magic shows are performed to amuse the troops in the war between demons and angels. There is horror, and dreams are fulfilled and squandered. They do the same things different there.
Robert Shearman has written four previous collections of short stories, and they have collectively won the World Fantasy Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and three British Fantasy Awards. He is probably best known as a writer on the BBC TV series Doctor Who, and his work on the show brought him a Hugo Award nomination. His last book Remember Why You Fear Me, is also published by ChiZine Publications.
Why We’re Excited About This Book: It’s safe to say, no one else writes stories like Robert Shearman stories. Comparisons to other authors are useless because whilst we could list possible influences (Lewis Caroll, Kafka, Bagpuss, Aickman, Monty Python, Dali, Gahan Wilson) we wouldn’t be getting near the Shearman-ness of a Robert Shearman story. Writing well outside of the traditional horror story tropes, his work is nevertheless full of unease at what might happen next, and a bafflement at what has happened so far… Told with a dark wit and in beautifully controlled prose, if you’ve never read any Robert Shearman you’re in for a treat. A previous collection, Remember Why You Fear Me, collected together some of his more overtly creepy stories whilst this collection promises to be more fantastical. But despite these distinctions, his work really is all of a piece.
No one else writes stories like Robert Shearman stories
This Book Will Appeal To: those readers who like a story to linger in their mind long after finishing it…
“A short, gripping and intense read!”
When Zack, Kaitlin and their two children relocate to New Mexico, they plan to start a new life in the “Land of Enchantment,” but what they find is something far more foreboding and ominous. Kaitlin’s photography assignment takes them on “death jaunts” around the state, their neighbour is a man harbouring a terrible secret, and three people who died near their house appear to have been fleeing for their lives. Before long, Zack is terrified of losing both his wife and his sanity, and the family discovers that death may be much closer to home than they thought.
Why We’re Excited About This Book: A Respite For The Dead is a short novella from Omnium Gatherum, designed to be read in one sitting. It tells of a family, Zack, Kaitlin and their two children who have relocated to New Mexico. Kaitlin is a photographer and she is working on a project to photograph the local descansos – roadside shrines for those who have died on the roads. One day, they spy a previously unnoticed shrine, close to their own house, surrounded by dying vegetation and strange smell… And then, they almost become casualties of the road themselves.
A short, gripping and intense read, A Respite For The Dead manages to combine fears both ancient and modern in its description of the descansos and their associated terrors. There seems to be a wealth of exciting novella-length horror fiction being written at the moment, but despite all the competition A Respite For The Dead is very much worthy of your time.
This Book Will Appeal To: people who slow down for car accidents. Which is all of us really, right?
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