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John Langan

Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters

John Langan
Paul Tremblay

Monsters: As old as the oldest of stories, as new as our latest imaginings. From the ancient stone corridors of the labyrinth to the graffitied alleyways of the contemporary metropolis, they stalk the shadows. Leering from the darkness of the forest, jostling for space in our closets, they walk, crawl, creep and scuttle through our nightmares. Close as the clutter under the bed or the other side of the mirror, they are our truest companions.

Creatures features the best monster fiction from the past thirty years, offering a wide variety of the best monster stories including original stories from the field's most relevant names and hottest newcomers including Clive Barker, Sarah Langan, Joe R. Lansdale, Kelly Link, China Miéville, and Cherie Priest.

Table of Contents:

  • Godzilla's Twelve-Step Program - (1994) - shortstory by Joe R. Lansdale
  • The Creature from the Black Lagoon - (2011) - shortfiction by Jim Shepard
  • After Moreau - (2008) - shortstory by Jeffrey Ford
  • Among Their Bright Eyes - (2006) - shortstory by Alaya Dawn Johnson
  • Under Cover of Night - (2007) - shortstory by Christopher Golden
  • The Kraken - (2007) - shortfiction by Michael Kelly
  • Underneath Me, Steady Air - (2011) - shortfiction by Carrie Laben
  • Rawhead Rex - (1984) - novelette by Clive Barker
  • Wishbones - (2006) - shortstory by Cherie Priest
  • The Hollow Man - (2011) - shortfiction by Norman Partridge
  • Not from Around Here - (1990) - novelette by David J. Schow
  • The Ropy Thing - (1999) - shortstory by Al Sarrantonio
  • The Third Bear - (2007) - shortstory by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Monster - (2005) - novelette by Kelly Link
  • Keep Calm and Carillon - (2011) - shortfiction by Genevieve Valentine
  • The Deep End - (1987) - shortstory by Robert R. McCammon
  • The Serpent & the Hatchet Gang - (2007) - shortstory by F. Brett Cox
  • Blood Makes Noise - (1999) - shortstory by Gemma Files
  • The Machine Is Perfect, the Engineer Is Nobody - (2011) - shortfiction by Brett Alexander Savory
  • Proboscis - (2005) - novelette by Laird Barron
  • Familiar - (2002) - shortstory by China Miéville
  • Replacements - (1992) - novelette by Lisa Tuttle
  • Little Monsters - (2011) - shortfiction by Stephen Graham Jones
  • The Changeling - (2011) - shortstory by Sarah Langan
  • The Monsters of Heaven - (2007) - shortstory by Nathan Ballingrud
  • Absolute Zero - (2011) - shortstory by Nadia Bulkin

Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters

John Langan

From award-nominated writer John Langan comes a collection of uneasy meetings. A frustrated professor and his graduate student assistant accompany a group of soldiers to a remote Scottish island to learn what is buried there. A man plays an audiotape left for him by his late father and is initiated into a family story of monstrous deeds. A student learns frightening lessons in a surreal tutoring center. A young couple struggles to make their stand against a group of inhuman pursuers in a ravaged landscape. And, in a new story, an artist discovers a mysterious statue whose completion becomes his obsession.

Renfrew's Course

John Langan

This short story originally appeared in Lightspeed, June 2012. It can also be found in the anthologies Wilde Stories 2013: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction, edited by Steve Berman and The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2013, edited by Paula Guran.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.


John Langan

This novelette originally appeared in the anthology Poe: 19 New Tales of Suspense, Dark Fantasy and Horror (2009), edited by Ellen Datlow. It can also be found in the anthologies The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Two (2010), edited by Ellen Datlow, and The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2010, edited by Rich Horton. The story is included in the collection The Wide Carnivorous Sky: and Other Monstrous Geographies (2013).

The Fisherman

John Langan

In upstate New York, in the woods around Woodstock, Dutchman's Creek flows out of the Ashokan Reservoir. Steep-banked, fast-moving, it offers the promise of fine fishing, and of something more, a possibility too fantastic to be true. When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other's company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It's a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it.

The Wide Carnivorous Sky: and Other Monstrous Geographies

John Langan

"I want to be like John Langan when I grow up, okay? He blends meticulously crafted traditional narratives with joyous genre-bending and narrative rule-breaking. His stories are fiercely smart, timely, timeless, heartbreaking, and of course, flat-out scary. Langan fearlessly commits to his monsters, his characters, his readers, to his vision of the horror story and the messed-up, broken, frightening world we inhabit. Wide, Carnivorous Sky, indeed."-Paul Tremblay, author of The Little Sleep and Swallowing a Donkey's Eye.

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.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction: Reading Langan, by Jeffrey Ford
  • Kids
  • How the Day Runs Down
  • Technicolor
  • The Wide, Carnivorous Sky
  • City of the Dog
  • The Shallows
  • The Revel
  • June, 1987. Hitchhiking. Mr. Norris.
  • Mother of Stone
  • Story Notes
  • Afterword: Note Found in a Glenfiddich Bottle, by Laird Barron
  • Acknowledgments

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