Bone Idle in the Charnel HouseRhys Hughes
horror > weird fiction, short stories
Bone Idle in the Charnel House: A Collection of Weird Stories.
Cover art by Mike Dubisch.
For more than two decades, Welsh writer Rhys Hughes has been entertaining and befuddling readers with his distinctive mix of terror, humor, fantasy, and absurdity. Although influenced by such writers as Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges, his work is utterly unique in its melding of weirdness and comic grotesquerie.
In this substantial collection of new and reprinted stories, Hughes displays the literary skills that have brought him a wide and devoted readership. In “The Old House Under the Snow,” we find two explorers burrowing under the snow to find a house whose bizarre features mesmerize them; in “What I Fear Most,” the narrator’s account of his inmost terrors takes a strange turn; in “The Hydrothermal Reich,” Hitler and his cohorts are shown to have an unusual plan for world domination.
In a story reminiscent of Kafka, “Happiness Leasehold” tells of a wealthy man who is unnerved to discover that his prosperity is entirely the result of another’s actions — and now his time is up. Somewhat more orthodox, “Sigma Octantis” is a powerful tale in the Lovecraftian idiom, telling of cosmic horrors in an obscure Welsh community.
Many of these stories have been published in leading magazines and anthologies over the past decade; but several are unpublished and reveal their wonders and mysteries for the first time. With this book, Rhys Hughes stakes a claim to being one of the most original writers in contemporary weird fiction.
- The Swinger
- Bitter in Sour
- The Old House Under the Snow
- Degrees of Separation
- The Warlord
- Vampiric Gramps
- Bone Idle in the Charnel House
- What I Fear Most
- Casimir the Converter
- Smuggling Old Nick to Newfoundland
- Shelling the Toad
- The Hydrothermal Reich
- The Spoon
- Happiness Leasehold
- Life and the Plumbline
- The Unsubtle Cages
- Sigma Octantis
- The Century Just Gone
Rhys Henry Hughes (born 1966) is a Welsh writer and essayist.
Born in Cardiff, Hughes is a prolific short story writer with an eclectic mix of influences, which include Italo Calvino, Milorad Pavić, Jorge Luis Borges, Stanisław Lem, Flann O'Brien, Felipe Alfau, Donald Barthelme and Jack Vance. Much of his work is of a humorously eccentric bent, often parodies and pastiches with surreal and absurdist overtones, although he is by no means limited to any of these forms and has proven to be extremely versatile. He has been published in Postscripts among many other places.