“Likely to be one of the début short story collections of the year.”
The stunning debut collection of supernatural and ghost stories from V.H. Leslie is an assured and masterful collection of lush and evocative tales that will send frissons through you. V. H. Leslie’s stories have appeared in a range of speculative publications, including Black Static, Interzone, Shadows & Tall Trees, Weird Fiction Review and Strange Tales IV and have been reprinted in a range of “Year’s Best” anthologies. She is a Hawthornden Fellow and was recently awarded a place at the Saari Institute in Finland, where she’ll be working on a novel concerning various strands of Nordic myth and folklore. She was the winner of the Lightship First Chapter Prize 2013 and is a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award in the category of novelette. When Victoria isn’t writing, she is drawing or etching and is a member of the Omega Printmakers.
Why We’re Excited About This Book: V.H. Leslie’s stories will be known to many readers of This Is Horror, having appeared in some of the genre’s top publications and annual ‘Best Of’ anthologies. Now she delivers a collection pulling together many of those stories along with some original pieces, in what is likely to be one of the debuts of the year.
The stories within Skein And Bone are both richly inventive and beautifully told. Leslie wears her literary influences lightly, but her work delights in wordplay and allusions to myth, folklore and art. Not only this, but it is also thoroughly contemporary and grounded in the horror genre, with a story like The Quiet Room instilling in the reader a sense of untethered anxiety as it builds towards its climax.
Coming from one of the most skilful writers working in the genre at the moment, Skein And Bone is a must read from start to finish.
“The Russian Sleep Experiment is inventive, intense and well-constructed.”
Four political prisoners living in a 1940s Siberian POW camp volunteer to be subjects in a Soviet military experiment. They are promised freedom in exchange for completing the exercise. In return they must endure 30 days without sleep, fuelled by Gas 76-IA.
The longer the experimentees endure insomnia, the more they deteriorate. Words and pleasantries break down until they turn on each other. Researchers look on, neutral, and take notes for the super soldier applications possible with this new, wonder drug. One researcher, Luka, stands alone in believing the experiment needs to be stopped before irreversible damage is done but is he too late? The subjects no longer want the Gas switched off…
Why We’re Excited About This Book: Based on an internet scare story that purports to be an account of real events, The Russian Sleep Experiment sees author Holly Ice taking the bones of the original tale and making of them something wholly her own, telling a story of hope and betrayal in three acts. Inventive, intense and well-constructed, this is a novella well worth the discerning horror reader’s attention.
The novella also contains illustrations by award-winning graphic artist Daniel Tyka.