A Song for Quiet

Cassandra Khaw. Tor.com, $11.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9740-9
In the second novella in her Persons Non Grata series (after Hammers on Bone), Khaw introduces a new protagonist but continues the deeply affecting ambiance of a prose symphony. She blends 1959 cultural cadences with the visceral language of Lovecraftian horror and disturbingly lyrical descriptions of music that won’t let go until it destroys the player. As Georgia bluesman Deacon James travels alone toward Arkham, Mass., he faces both the dangers of racism and the terror of the song in his head, which he can’t resist playing even when he knows that doing so warps the world and brings forth monstrous horrors. Deacon encounters Ana, a young vocalist who shares his affliction, and together they must decide whether John Persons, gumshoe investigator and fighter against the Lovecraftian darkness, is pursuing them as friend or enemy. Khaw continues to demonstrate her mastery of seductive short-form horror, juxtaposing the disgusting and relentlessly terrifying with moments of exquisite beauty in ways that make it impossible to look away. Agent: Michael Curry, Donald Maass Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/26/2017
Release date: 08/29/2017
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