A LONG DECEMBER
Wraparound cover art by Ben Baldwin
"I love it...terrific stories served with a very large slice of Disquiet Pie."—Stephen King
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Price: £18.95 (Trade Paperback)
In 1996, Richard Chizmar's debut short story collection, Midnight Promises, was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award. Publishers Weekly called it "a sterling collection" while singling out "The Silence of Sorrow" as "an understated masterpiece."
Two years later, Subterranean Press published a mini-collection from Chizmar entitled Monsters and Other Stories. In his introduction, acclaimed genre critic Edward Bryant said, "When all is said and done, this book should leave you in utter silence, giving you time and opportunity to contemplate what you just read. Tough storytelling from a tough writer; but a writer who is not calloused. Chizmar possesses a finely honed gift of empathy. With utter grace and loving kindness he'll put you right inside the life (and soul) of the monster."
Now, nearly two decades later, Chizmar assembles thirty-five stories, including a previously-unpublished novella, and presents us with A Long December. This massive new collection features more than 150,000 words of Chizmar's very best short fiction and includes 8,000 words of autobiographical Story Notes.
Eerie, suspenseful, poignant, the stories in A Long December range from horror to suspense, crime to dark fantasy, mainstream to mystery.
As New York Times bestselling author Scott Smith (A Simple Plan, The Ruins) notes: "It's an idyllic little world Richard Chizmar has created. Boys fish in the shallows of a winding creek. A father tosses a baseball with his young son in the fading light of a summer day. There's the smell of fresh-cut grass. And then, well...just beneath the surface? There are those missing pets whose collars turn up in a shoebox. Or the disturbing photos the dead can leave behind. Or the terrible thing you might find yourself doing when a long lost brother suddenly returns, demanding money. Chizmar does a tremendous job of peeling back his world's shiny layers, revealing the rot that lies underneath. His stories feel like so many teeth: short and sharp and ready to draw blood."
© Richard Chizmar
PRAISE FOR RICHARD CHIZMAR
"Powerful...I love it... Richard Chizmar writes clean, no-nonsense prose…sets his tales in no-nonsense, middle class neighborhoods I can relate to…and writes terrific stories served with a very large slice of Disquiet Pie."
"Chizmar's stories are hard-hitting, spooky, suspenseful, poignant, harrowing, heartbreaking and most of all very well-written. Excellent work!"
"Tight, imaginative and totally engaging writing make this a must have book. Grab a copy of A Long December. It's fantastic."
—Joe R. Lansdale
"Richard Chizmar writes like a man who's been to hell and back and lived to tell its tales."
"...a writer of great accomplishment. His work, always effective, is notable for its clarity and originality of concept. Chizmar has a great gift for the sinister."
"Chilling and thought-provoking tales that quietly uncover horror in the most ordinary of lives."
"...a highly talented dark suspense writer with a wide range of subject matter and a knack for clear, straightforward, but evocative prose that may remind you of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Ed Gorman."
—Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
"With the whiff of classic pulp fiction about them, these chilling tales pack a giddy wallop and make staying up late to read just one more mandatory."
—Kirkus (STARRED REVIEW)
"This is a must-read for fans of intense tales where psychological suspense and horror overlap..."
—Booklist (STARRED REVIEW)
"They say you can't go home again, and many of the 35 quietly creepy stories in this career-spanning collection make it clear why one might not want to… Chizmar pays tribute to horror master Richard Matheson of Twilight Zone fame both explicitly (with 'The Artist') and implicitly with last-act twists and a firm emphasis on family as the source of both laughter and tears."
"Chizmar's stories range from supernatural to psychological horror, and they all share the author's assured hand at storytelling. None of the tales overstay their welcome; in fact, I found myself wanting more from some of them. Ultimately, he's put together an immensely readable book full of appealing and oftentimes frightening characters, which, combined with his smooth language makes A Long December hard to put down..."
Table of Contents:
The Man with X-Ray Eyes
The Silence of Sorrow
After the Bombs
The Lake is Life
The Good Old Days
Like Father, Like Son
A Crime of Passion
Bride of Frankenstein: A Love Story
The Season of Giving
A Capital Cat Crime
The Sinner King
A Season of Change
The Night Shift
Only the Strong Survive
The Poetry of Life
A Long December
RRP Price: £18.95
Publisher: Short, Scary Tales Publications
Release Date: December 12, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-909640-88-7 (6" x 9" Trade Paperback)
Pages: 520 pages
eBook edition is also available.