From the author of the acclaimed novel The Snowman's Children and the award-winning collection The Two Sams comes American Morons, a new collection of dazzling and haunting tales...
Two traveling college students confront their disintegrating relationship and the new American reality in a breakdown lane along the Italian superstrade. A woman chases the ghost of her neglectful father to a vanished amusement park at the end of the Long Beach pier. Two recently retired teachers learn just how much Los Angeles has taken from them.
In these atmospheric, wide-ranging, surprisingly playful, and deeply mournful stories, grandkids and widows, ice cream-truck drivers and judges, travelers and invalids all discover-and sometimes even survive-the everyday losses from which the most vengeful ghosts so often spring.
The Two Sams
In this deeply unsettling collection, Glen Hirshberg's remarkable ability to evoke the quiet terrors of everyday living renders the supernatural eerily natural. At once thrilling and moving, these four novellas and one story about people and the memories-and monsters-that haunt them cast a mesmerizing spell. Together, they represent a refreshingly human take on the age-old literary tradition of the ghost story.
The title story finds a husband struggling with the grief and confusion of losing two unborn children by forming an odd bond with the infant spectrals that visit him in the night. "Dancing Men" depicts one of the creepiest rites of passage in recent memory when a boy visits his reclusive and possibly deranged grandfather in the New Mexico desert. In "Mr. Dark's Carnival," a lonely college professor is lured to a mysterious haunted house steeped in the folklore of grisly badlands justice. "Struwwelpeter" introduces us to a brilliant, treacherous adolescent whose violent tendencies and reckless mischief reach a sinister pinnacle as Halloween descends on a rundown, Pacific Northwest fishing village. And in "Shipwreck Beach," a guilty and tormented young man and his favorite cousin confront their demons in the treacherous surf off the Hawaiian island of Lanai.
Introducing this collection, celebrated British horror writer Ramsey Campbell writes of Glen Hirshberg, "I'll stake my reputation that history will hail him as a crucial contributor to the field." Richly atmospheric, soulful, and scary, these stories will linger with readers long after they have finished reading.
Glen's stories have also appeared in numerous other publications:
Mr. Dark's Carnival (novella) appears in Shadows and Silence and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Fourteenth Annual Collection.
Mr. Dark's Carnival was nominated for the 2001 International Horror Guild Award and the 2001 World Fantasy Award.
first appeared online at scifi.com.
It is also published in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Fifteenth Annual Collection and The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror.
Struwwelpeter was nominated for the 2002 World Fantasy Award.
The Two Sams (story) appears in Dark Terrors 6 and The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Vol. 14
Dancing Men (novella)
will be published in The Dark (edited by Ellen Datlow) forthcoming from Tor Books, Fall 2003.
Shipwreck Beach (novella) appears in Trampoline (edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant).
Flowers on Their Bridles, Hooves in the Air has been published on SciFi.com