cover image Occultation


Laird Barron, . . Night Shade, $24.95 (245pp) ISBN 978-1-59780-192-8

Writing with a poet's eye for detail and a folklorist's understanding of mythos, Barron lives up to his reputation for elegant, subtle, and nightmare-inducing tales with a Lovecraftian edge in his second short story collection (after 2007's The Imago Sequence and Other Stories ), which includes six reprints and three original stories. In “The Lagerstätte,” a woman who cannot come to terms with her husband's loss clings to an occult artifact said to reunite lovers whom death has separated. A guerrilla art exhibit turns murderous in the taut and bloody “Strappado.” A mysterious guidebook leads four men on a terrifying camping trip in “Mysterium Tremendum.” Heartbreaking, hilarious, sophisticated, and gory, these stories will thrill, trouble, and haunt Barron's fans and have newcomers scrambling to search for his other work. (June)