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Many of these stories have been published in leading magazines and anthologies over the past decade; but several are unpublished and reveal their wonders and mysteries for the first time.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.
Rhys Hughes is the author of seven novels, dozens of short story collections, and hundreds of tales, essays, poems, and artwork. He has also compiled two volumes of the anthology series The Ironic Fantastic.
This product was added to our catalog on Friday 31 October, 2014.