Author: Jonathan Thomas
“Time and again he hooks the reader from the opening sentence. . . . Aficionados of subtle horror will look forward to seeing more of Thomas’s work.”--Publishers Weekly
This fifth short story collection by acclaimed weird fictionist Jonathan Thomas presents more of the scintillating fiction that Thomas has displayed ever since the publication of Midnight Call and Other Stories (2008). Thomas, a native of Providence, Rhode Island, has artfully utilized both the past and the present of his native region for tales that tease out the latent terrors of New England. “Young Goodman Brown,” set in the 17th century, presents a brilliant fusion of themes found in the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne and H. P. Lovecraft. Continuing the Lovecraftian theme, “Shed a Tear for Asenath” exhibits the diary of Edward Derby, the doomed husband of Asenath Waite in Lovecraft’s “The Thing on the Doorstep.” Moving up to the present, “Plenty of Irem” reveals what an employee of Kingsport Community College discovers at the dubious Mugford Museum. In “Gone to Doggerland,” photos of a recently deceased matriarch show her with the dreaded “Innsmouth look.”
Other tales take us across the ocean to England, where the unearthing of a primitive dagger spells doom (“Ritual Damage”); an American tourist in Bath finds that ancient Roman “curse tablets” may still be endowed with supernatural power (“Vade Mecum”); and another American visitor encounters a fetching young woman who may or may not be a “bodacious” ghoul (“Cups of Memory”).
Throughout his writing, Jonathan Thomas has displayed a pungent satirical wit, sureness of technique, and innovative horrific motifs that have placed him among the premier writers of weird fiction today. This collection can only augment his lofty reputation.