Monday, October 22, 2012

Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities now Available on Amazon, While 'The Screamer' Strikes a Chord with Writers and Reviewers

"The Screamer" story art by Tom Kristensen
Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities, the widely renowned anthology of gritty Lovecraftian fiction edited by Henrik Sandbeck Harsken and published on his H. Harksen Productions press, is now available not only on Lulu, but also on Amazon.

I'm quite fond of this book and proud to be among the stellar names assembled within its Paul Carrick cover piece.  The raves for the antho have been fantastic so far (including those in HorrorWorld, She Never Slept, and, and the specific reviews and blurbs for my story have quite frankly floored me.  I have to admit that although "The Screamer" is probably my favorite story that I've written so far (as it hews closest to my own rattling bones in terms of setting and the pseudo factual basis for the story), I was still a bit shocked and delighted that it resonated with peers and reviewers - especially the ending, which was supplied to me by Ives when I was casting about in the dark trying to figure out where this story needed to go.  She showed me The Screamer, the path opened up, and everything fell into place.  I couldn't have done it without her.

Below are a few of the extremely generous and humbling thoughts on "The Screamer" provided by an array of highly regarded - and personally respected - dark fiction writers, readers, editors, reviewers (and often a combo of all of the above):

Jeffrey Thomas said:
"'The Screamer' is one of the best modern horror stories I've read. Ever. I keep wanting to discuss it at greater length and detail, to acknowledge its remarkable construction, its superb prose voice, its volcanic build-up of power (from subtle anxiety to all-stops-pulled-out-madness), and its brilliant sense of metaphor, but I have been too distracted. Oh wait...I kinda just did, a little.
That one story is better than entire short story collections I've read by respected and (so far) better known writers. If you took all the stories in those collections and condensed them into one small mass like a collapsed star, you'd have 'The Screamer'. For real.
I liked how characters I thought were merely placed in there for background detail (and that would have been fine) reappeared later under other... circumstances. I liked the prose voice. I liked the masterfully tuned shift in volume from 0 to 11... The beautifully balanced ending. It is one of my favorite modern horror stories. 
I wish I'd written this." 

Matt Cardin said:
"I read 'The Screamer' today and it was a massive enjoyment. T.E. Grau's use of language, his unfolding of the cosmically apocalyptic-horrific premise, the delectable evocation of honest-to-gods dread -- all were wonderful. Hats off! The words 'the real deal' are prominent in my thoughts as I come away from Grau's depiction of a truly harrowing urban-cosmic undoing of everything." 
"Very, very powerful indeed. One of the best breakdown stories I've read in a long time - I love the richness of the collapse, the blurring of reality/unreality, the sense of terrible cataclysm both within and without the main character - and the language and description is suggestive of a lot more going on beneath the surface. I'm not surprised 'The Screamer' is being put up for nomination." 
Scott Nicolay said:
"I don't manage to read much anymore, but I read a story a few days back that has stuck with me: 'The Screamer' by T.E. Grau. I'd heard it was good, and it is. Damn good. In particular, I keep going back to what Ted did with the ending. It is horrific on a cosmic scale yet elegantly understated at the same time. I expect this one to appear again in reprints, maybe The Year's Best. The Next wave of horror is in good appendages, my friends. Oh, yes it is." 
"'The Screamer' by T.E. Grau is the best story I have read all year. In fact, it tops any short story I read the year before, too! Grau masterfully weaves a tale of terror and madness with a sneaky surprise ending that I definitely did not see coming."  (Full review published by She Never Slept
Brian Sammons said:
"I want to group up three authors right at the start, as there are a lot of similarities between them for me. I became aware of each of them around the same time (about a year to year and a half ago), I’ve read a quite a few things by them since then, often in the same books, and they have never disappointed me with their story telling skills. In fact, they consistently blow me away. They are Glynn Owen Barrass, Pete Rawlik, and T.E. Grau and their stories here, 'Carcosapunk', 'The Statement of Frank Elwood' and 'The Screamer' respectively. These three are the best of the bunch here. When I suggested that there were young Turks in this book, these guys are the ones I was thinking of. They have each rapidly become three of my favorite writers. All fans of Lovecraftian fiction should consider them bright shining stars that need to be carefully followed."  (Full review published by HorrorWorld)

Julia Morgan said:
"The second wonderful story is 'The Screamer' by T. E. Grau... I spent a lot of time trying to second-guess the storyline, and failed to do so. Epically. The denouement was so much better than anything I imagined."  (Full review published by Unfilmmable)

If you haven't already made the move, your excuses are now at an end.  Pick up your copy of Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities, in which "The Screamer" rubs jaw bones and neon with a chorus of stellar writers that make up the following ToC:

“Dancer of the Dying” by Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
“The Neighbors Upstairs” by John Goodrich
“Carcosapunk” by Glynn Owen Barrass
“Architect Eyes” by Thomas Strømsholt
“Slou” by Robert Tangiers
“Ozeelah’s Lake” by Morten Carlsen
“The Statement of Frank Elwood” by Peter Rawlik
“In the Shadow of Bh’Yhlun” by Ian Davey
“The Screamer” by T. E. Grau
“the guilt of each … at the end…” by Joseph S. Pulver

Come ye to the city, a hive of madness and black matter.  Come ye to the city, to die utterly alone.

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