Sefira and Other Betrayals

by John Langan
Release date: January 2019
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: horror, short stories

Cover art by Santiago Caruso. Introduction by Paul Tremblay.

From the award-winning writer of The Fisherman comes a new collection of stories. A pair of disgraced soldiers seek revenge on the man who taught them how to torture. A young lawyer learns the history of the secret that warped her parents’ marriage. A writer arrives at a mansion overlooking the Hudson River to write about the strange paper balloons floating through its grounds. A couple walks a path that shows them their past, present, and terrible future. A woman and her husband discover a cooler on the side of the road whose contents are decidedly unearthly. A man driving cross country has a late-night encounter with a figure claiming to be the Devil. And in the short novel that gives the collection its title, a woman chases a monster in a race against time.

Rue Morgue Magazine review (excerpt):

John Langan’s new book is certain to solidify his place among the strongest voices in modern literary horror. Placed together within the same cover for the first time, a theme emerges from the tales that binds and unites them – and it is signaled in the title of the book.

“These are stories of betrayal,” author John Langan confirms.

Apart from this thread, the stories are otherwise quite distinct from each other in terms of their characters, plots, settings, themes and even varieties of horror.

There’s “In Paris in the Mount of Kronos,” a snappy, neo-noirish, action packed Laird Barron-esque encounter with ancient malevolent forces; the dark, character-driven relationship dramas of “The Third Always Beside You” and “Renfrew’s Course”; the vaguely Lovecraftian horrors of “Bloom”; the atmospheric steampunk weirdness in the form of “The Unbearable Proximity of Mr. Dunn’s Balloons”; and apocalyptic surrealism in “Bos Uros”.

Finally, the title novella, Sefira, is about a woman who is chasing a succubus across the United States, while the novelette At Home in the Devil’s House offers a new, nightmarish concept of Hell.

Sefira and Other Betrayals contains stories previously published in such prestigious anthologies as Supernatural Noir, Blood and Other Cravings, Ghosts by Gaslight, Black Wings 2, Shadows Edge and others, and includes one original novella, Sefira, and an original novelette, At Home in the Devil’s House.

(updated 2019-01-25)

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