Look Out For … Standalone by Paul Michael Anderson

Standalone by Paul Michael Anderson - cover“With Anderson’s Standalone,  he flips the tables with a gory slasher tale while never straying from his roots with the emotional and gut-wrenching horror he’s known for.”

Monsters. Killers. Evil.

Through derelict hospitals, forgotten schools, broken down houses, and summer camps, they hunt, seeking those foolish enough to visit those places. They leave terror, carnage, death and destruction in their wake.

Some survive, but there is always blood.

All the death is necessary to protect and preserve the Multiverse.

But the tables have turned. Now they are the hunted. Stalked to near extinction, the world as we know it hangs in the balance as they struggle to survive.

Why we’re excited about this book:

Paul Michael Anderson is no stranger to the horror scene. He is the author of stunning collection Bones Are Made to be Broken, the novella How We Broke (with Bracken MacLeod), scores of stories in anthologies like  Tales from the Lake: Volume 5, Ashes and Entropy, Lost Signals, Qualia Nous, and such publications as Dark Moon Digest and Unnerving Magazine among others. With Anderson’s Standalone,  he flips the tables with a gory slasher tale while never straying from his roots with the emotional and gut-wrenching horror he’s known for. Stephen Graham Jones calls Standalone a “… metaphysical science-fiction slasher that doesn’t skimp on the gore.”

Why Paul’s excited about this book:

“I get ideas all the time and most of them lead to absolutely nowhere—an interesting scene, a cool exchange between characters, a rhetorical question—but I had this one about slasher killers being legitimately evil but you still want to root for them, anyway. I don’t mean in the way Freddy Krueger or Jason became more interesting and easier to root for as sequels kept piling up and the faces of the victims became more and more interchangeable, either. I mean, they’re actually bad and you know they’re bad, but you see where they’re coming from and each of their kills isn’t a place for cheering (like in those sequels) but as a means to an end. But you also root for the people standing up to them? How can that work? So I reverse engineered it and Standalone was the result.

It’s a departure from previous works, so it’s interesting to see how audiences like it. Other stories of mine that people have noticed—the novella Bones Are Made to Be Broken, or the story “The Agonizing Guilt of Relief (Last Days of a Ready-Made Victim)” or the story I wrote with Bracken MacLeod, How We Broke—tend to be really grounded affairs with a lot of, for lack of a better term, emotional violence. There’s usually physical violence, too, but it’s not so prominent in the movements of the pacing. In Standalone, I wrote a science-fiction slasher, and when the word “slasher” pops up, you know it’s going to be gory. My standard heart-full-of-razor-blades schtick is still on-display, maybe not in the way audiences expect or see coming, but this novella has to be one of my weirder, gorier works (I did publish a story about a sentient man-eating lake, once) and, getting such a wide range in publication means a lot of eyeballs are seeing it, new and old. So, if people thought I pulled off emotional violence well, if I’d previously been able to make them cry and ache, I’m curious to see if I can just truly scare the living hell out of them, too. Put it another way, my other works are kind of like dark, serious conversations. Standalone is me startling the bejesus out of you with inhuman (but catchy!) shrieking.”

Forthcoming from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing 14 September 2020, Standalone by Paul Michael Anderson is available for pre-order now.




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