The Skeleton MelodiesClint Smith
horror > weird fiction, short stories
"Smith is a real find, an elegant stylist with an imagination that’s unsettling, paranoid, gruesomely funny at times, and startlingly original. He’s written one of the scariest sex scenes I’ve ever read, but he can even make vacuuming your own house seem scary." — T.E.D Klein
"Fully-realized characters and evocative prose distinguish [Clint] Smith's outstanding second collection." — Publishers Weekly Starred Review
In 2014, Hippocampus Press published Clint Smith's first short story collection, Ghouljaw and Other Stories. That scintillating volume, which simultaneously drew upon the rich heritage of classic weird fiction and infused a new vibrancy into old motifs by a vibrant prose style, deft character portrayal, and innovative scenarios, was an instant hit. Now, Smith has assembled his second story collection, and it features all the virtues of his first book while adding new touches that will broaden his readership.
The Skeleton Melodies features such stories as "Lisa's Pieces," a grisly tale of cruelty and murder; "Fiending Apophenia," in which a schoolteacher reflects poignantly on his past derelictions; "The Fall of Tomlinson Hall," wherein Smith draws upon his own expertise in the culinary arts to fashion a story of cannibalistic terror; and "The Rive," a highly timely post-apocalyptic account of the horrors that inequities in health care can foster.
Other stories treat of domestic strife leading to supernatural or psychological horror, such as "Animalhouse" or "The Undertow, and They That Dwell Therein." The volume culminates in the richly textured novella "Haunt Me Still," one of the most subtle and powerful ghost stories in recent years.
Clint Smith is establishing an enviable reputation as a leading voice in contemporary weird fiction. This volume will only augment his high standing in the field.
Clint Smith is the author of the short story collection Ghouljaw and Other Stories (Hippocampus Press, 2014) and the novella When It’s Time For Dead Things To Die (Dunhams Manor Press, 2015).
His short story, “Dirt on Vicky,” was the 2011 winner of the Scare The Dickens Out of Us ghost story contest, and appeared in the Stephen Jones anthology, Best New Horror #26 (PS Publishing, 2015). A tale titled “Ghouljaw” received the “Best Of Fiction” award for Genesis magazine; “Mistletoe” was nominated as a selection for the American Writing Programs Intro Journal Awards competition; and the story “Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite” earned an “Editor’s Choice” award for its appearance in the James Ward Kirk