“Ryker’s work combines fast-paced, compulsive plotting with a steadily accumulating sense of dread.”
Elizabeth doesn’t feel in control of her own life, which is probably why she enjoys the life-simulation game The Wards so much. In a dark room, she stares at a monitor watching a miserable wretch. It’s one of her creations, a woman tormented beyond sanity’s threshold. Elizabeth feels no responsibility, no remorse, because she thinks it’s just a game, without real consequences.
But The Wards is much more than just a game.
Elizabeth has created a twisted new world filled with broken beings and she is now trapped there and must find a way to escape before her creations realize that she, their cruel god, walks among them.
Why We’re Excited About This Book:
Starting on 27 July, DarkFuse Magazine will be publishing its second serial, The Wards by Alan Ryker.
The story takes as its starting point a life-simulation computer game called The Wards, which allows players to torment and punish their virtual creations. But The Wards turns out to be more real than its virtual setting might suggest…
Ryker has been part of the DarkFuse stable for a few years now, with releases such as The Hoard and Dreams Of The Serpent confirming him as one of their brightest stars. His work combines fast-paced, compulsive plotting with a sure sense of character and a steadily accumulating sense of dread, so the serial novel format seems tailor-made for him. With its twisted premise and contemporary relevance it will be interesting to see where he takes The Wards as the episodes progress.
“The stories within The Nameless Dark showcase Grau’s impressive diversity.”
The Nameless Dark debuts a major new voice in contemporary Weird fiction. Within these pages, you’ll find whispers of the familiar ghosts of the classic pulps – Lovecraft, Bradbury, Smith–blended with Grau’s uniquely macabre, witty storytelling, securing his place at the table amid this current Renaissance of literary horror.
Table Of Contents: ‘Tubby’s Big Swim’, ‘The Screamer’, ‘Clean’, ‘Return of the Prodigy’, ‘Expat’, ‘The Truffle Pig’, ‘Beer & Worms’, ‘White Feather’, ‘Transmission’, ‘Mr. Lupus’, ‘Free Fireworks’, ‘Love Songs from the Hydrogen Jukebox’, ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’, ‘The Mission’.
Why We’re Excited About This Book:
Debut collections of weird fiction don’t come any more pre-hyped than T.E. Grau’s The Nameless Dark, which has garnered advance praise from the likes of Laird Barron, Adam Nevill, Gary McMahon and Paul Tremblay, among others. The book collects together Grau’s published fiction of the last five years, along with a couple of unreleased works.
Taken as a whole, the stories within The Nameless Dark showcase Grau’s impressive diversity, being told in a wide range of voices and set in a variety of different places and time periods, all vividly realised. Some of Grau’s stories twist traditional horror tropes to his own ends, like the inventive twist on Jack The Ripper in ‘Truffle Pig’. Others are more idiosyncratic: ‘Tubby’s Big Swim’ evokes unease via a story of a boy and his pet octopus, whereas ‘The Mission’ reads like a weird fiction mashup with Cormac McCarthy.
Take a chance on The Nameless Dark and it’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed.
Support This Is Horror Podcast on Patreon
- For $1 you get early bird access to all our podcasts and can submit questions to guests.
- For $3 you get access to our patrons-only podcast Story Unboxed: The Horror Podcast on the Craft of Writing.
- For $4 you get the full interview, no two-parters.
The best way to support This Is Horror is via Patreon. How much will you pledge? Go on. Be awesome.
This Is Horror Books
This Is Horror Books on Kindle Unlimited and Amazon
- They Don’t Come Home Anymore by T.E. Grau
- A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman
- The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud
- The Elvis Room by Stephen Graham Jones
- Water For Drowning by Ray Cluley
- Chalk by Pat Cadigan
- Roadkill by Joseph D’Lacey