Ana Kai Tangata: Tales of the Outer the Other the Damned and the Doomed (hardcover)
By: Scott Nicolay
With an Introduction by Laird Barron and Afterword by John Pelan, here is weird horror writer Scott Nicolay's debut collection. The eight tales range from short stories to meaty novella length, each one creepier and weirder than the last. By turns erudite and earthy, poetic and brutal, ironic and horrific, these stories are NOT for the squeamish! Lavishly illustrated by David Verba.
From the introduction by Laird Barron:
"This is a big, sprawling treatise of the macabre. Except for a couple of short stories to ameliorate the ever-ratcheting dread, these are lengthy novelettes and novellas, and one, a piece original to this volume, qualifies as a short novel. It is testament to Nicolay’s artistic integrity that he works at what the industry often considers an unpublishable length. Flash fiction and short subjects are the rage here in the 21st Century. Much as I applaud the intersection of literature and the internet, I’m nonetheless dismayed by the prevalent marketing notion that the best length for fiction tops out at 7500 words. I disagree strongly. What the field requires is variety. In addition to short-shorts, it must be seeded with novelettes and novellas and short novels to properly flourish. Thank the dark gods Nicolay is a throwback to masters such as Blackwood and Machen in that regard. One of his greatest virtues as an author is a willingness to allow a tale to develop at a natural pace, to digress where it must digress, to mature like a pearl from a cyst in the belly of an oyster. There is no rush in a Nicolay story. It proceeds through twisting and twining galleries of phantasmagoric imagery to whatever fresh hell awaits at the end of the journey.
"And so, we pause now at the threshold of a voyage. At the helm reposes your guide, a man who sees the world a bit differently than the rest of us, a man who is going places, dark, dark places, and he’s taking us along. It will prove a dark odyssey down the great river that winds through our collective subconscious. A river of blood and memory that cores and bores into the bones of cosmic lagerstätten. Possibly, when it is over, you too shall see reality a bit differently. Perhaps you’ll gaze through the azure shell of the sky and see the infinite blackness that awaits"