The Man on the Ceiling
Two interwoven memoirs of love, loss, and family with a haunted, frightening edge.
"The kind of... story that reminds you what fiction is capable of being, of doing, of making, for the reader and for the author." – Neil Gaiman on the original novella.
In 2000, American Fantasy Press published an unassuming chapbook titled The Man on the Ceiling. Inside was a dark-and-light, surreal, discomfiting and redemptive story of the horrors and joys that can befall a family. It was so powerful that it won the Bram Stoker Award, International Horror Guild Award, and World Fantasy Award – the only work ever to win all three. Now, Melanie Tem and Steve Rasnic Tem have reimagined the story, expanding on the ideas to create a compelling work that examines how people find a family, how they hold a family together despite incomprehensible tragedy, and how they find love.
Loosely autobiographical, The Man on the Ceiling has the feel of a family portrait painted by Salvador Dali, where story and reality blend to find the one thing that neither can offer alone: truth.
Melanie Tem (1949-2015) was an American horror and dark fantasy author.
Melanie Kubachko grew up in Saegertown, Pennsylvania. She attended Allegheny College as an undergrad, and earned her master’s in social work at the University of Denver in Colorado.
She married Steve Rasnic and the couple took the joint surname Tem. She developed breast cancer in 1997. In 2013, it recurred, and metastasized to her bones, bone marrow, and organs. She died at age 65 on February 9, 2015. She is survived by her husband, Steve Rasnic Tem, four children and six grandchildren.