The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies
by John Langan
Release date: May 2013
Trade paper: ISBN 978-1-61498-054-4: 322 pp
John Langan has, in the last few years, established himself as one of the leading voices in contemporary horror literature. Gifted with a supple and mellifluous prose style, an imagination that can conjure up clutching terrors with seeming effortlessness, and a thorough knowledge of the rich heritage of weird fiction, Langan has already garnered his share of accolades. This new collection of nine substantial stories includes such masterworks as “Technicolor,” an ingenious riff on Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death”; “How the Day Runs Down,” a gripping tale of the undead; and “The Shallows,” a powerful tale of the Cthulhu Mythos. The capstone to the collection is a previously unpublished novella of supernatural terror, “Mother of Stone.” With an introduction by Jeffrey Ford and an afterword by Laird Barron.
John Langan is the author of the short story collection Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters (2008) and the novel House of Windows (2009).
PRAISE FOR JOHN LANGAN:
“An emerging master of the elegant macabre”—Nick Gevers, Locus magazine
“[Langan’s fiction] shows a meticulous attention to the kind of narrative complexity and almost formal construction that has become increasingly rare in genre horror, but that serve as reminders that this sort of fiction once boasted the likes of M.R. James, Algernon Blackwood, and even Henry James….Langan is not only rediscovering the literary roots of modern horror, but is staking out an interesting territory of his own—the academic horror story. It’s a territory that should resonate well with intelligent readers who still remember horror’s promise”—Gary Wolfe, Locus magazine
“For those who miss the subtlety, atmosphere and detailed attention to language of horror's past masters, reading Langan is a treat….Langan…is well on his way to creating a multilayered, deconstructive (and reconstructive) body of work”—Nick Kaufmann, Fearzone.com
“Langan shows uncommon skill at balancing character, plot and mood to achieve the perfect pitch…. Horror readers will welcome a new voice speaking in a classic tongue”—Publisher’s Weekly
“Superlative stylistic ingenuity”—Booklist
“Langan’s gift is to know the tropes of the dark fantasy field intimately, and then to go about subverting them like some kind of spy in the house of literature…a precise and interesting artist, renovating or ripping up the floorboards of contemporary horror”—Jeff Vandermeer, Realms of Fantasy magazine
“Langan’s lyrically written, elegantly constructed fiction bears the obvious influence of another James — Henry. Yet…Langan cannily invokes his forebears — not just Henry James and M.R. James and Blackwood, but also H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King — while still managing to create characters and settings and a prose style uniquely his own….John Langan has achieved a sort of literary trifecta: he’s written works that celebrate supernatural fiction’s antiquarian and visionary past with as much eloquence and acuity — and terror — as they explore the dark heart of the 21st century”—Elizabeth Hand
“Langan has returned to horror's roots, where terror resides not in jump scares or the grotesque, but in the hearts and minds of its characters. Witty, inventive, and patient, it transcends genre, as all brilliant fiction should”—Sarah Langan