Occultation and Other Stories

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Laird Barron has emerged as one of the strongest voices in modern horror and dark fantasy fiction, building on the eldritch tradition pioneered by writers such as H. P. Lovecraft, Peter Straub, and Thomas Ligotti. His stories have garnered critical acclaim and been reprinted in numerous year's best anthologies and nominated for multiple awards, including the Crawford, International Horror Guild, Shirley Jackson, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Awards. His debut collection, The Imago Sequence and Other ...
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Occultation

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Overview


Laird Barron has emerged as one of the strongest voices in modern horror and dark fantasy fiction, building on the eldritch tradition pioneered by writers such as H. P. Lovecraft, Peter Straub, and Thomas Ligotti. His stories have garnered critical acclaim and been reprinted in numerous year's best anthologies and nominated for multiple awards, including the Crawford, International Horror Guild, Shirley Jackson, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Awards. His debut collection, The Imago Sequence and Other Stories, was the inaugural winner of the Shirley Jackson Award.

He returns with his second collection, Occultation. Pitting ordinary men and women against a carnivorous, chaotic cosmos, Occultation's eight tales of terror (two never before published) include the Theodore Sturgeon and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated story "The Forest" and Shirley Jackson Award nominee "The Lagerstatte." Featuring an introduction by Michael Shea, Occultation brings more of the spine-chillingly sublime cosmic horror Laird Barron's fans have come to expect.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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)
From the Publisher

“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.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597801928
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/2010
  • Pages: 245
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Laird Barron is the author of the novel The Croning and three collections of short fiction: The Imago Sequence, Occultation, and The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All. His work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies. An expatriate Alaskan, Barron currently resides in the wilds of upstate New York.

Michael Shea is an American fantasy, horror, and science fiction author. He is the winner of two World Fantasy Awards, and has been nominated for Nebula and Hugo awards. Shea lives in Healdsburg, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 132 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(26)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(32)

1 Star

(40)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 132 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    Horrible language

    Received on Free Friday, but not worth keeping due to excessive bad language. I would like to give zero stars, but one is required.

    48 out of 117 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    Highly Recommended!

    Horror diehards ave reason to celebrate.

    Laird Barron does not write "happily ever after." If you are looking for pretty stories with happy endings, or even creepy stories with happy endings, look elsewhere, because there's nothing pretty nor happy in Laird Barron's Occultation, his second collection of dark fiction following the success of his first, The Imago Sequence and Other Stories.

    That Barron does not write "happily ever after" is not to say that Occultation is lacking in heroes and heroines, fools and apostates, prodigal sons and beckoning fair ones. On the contrary, the reader will find these archetypes in each of the stories in this collection, stories rich in allegorical themes that engage all the senses -- sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing, and emotion -- only with a bleak and horrifying twist. Barron's story-telling in Occultation grabs the reader by the back of the neck and forces him to look at this, reminding the reader that reality is not always pretty, even when reality is couched in fantasy.

    Bad things happen to good people, average people, and oblivious people -- especially oblivious people.

    The irony here is that Barron sets up and executes these Chthonic revelations with such graceful and seductive elocution that the reader goes willingly to his "readerly" fate, every bit as willingly as Barron's protagonists go not-so-gently into that endless night. This said, the reader can choose to ride safely over the surface of each tale and sigh afterward that the protagonist's fate was not hers, or she can choose to dive into deeper waters where hidden formulae found in the Gnostic art of Gematria informs her of metaphysical secrets, and ancient rituals performed in an upside-down looking-glass world reveal psycho-spiritual insight. The reader has a choice in Occultation: read for entertainment, or read for information. Or read for both. There is mystery aplenty to be found in either venture.

    Occultation is all that, the art of legerdemain, as was experienced in The Imago Sequence. But where The Imago Sequence presented with lone protagonists unwittingly encountering and sometimes surviving a hostile universe, we find in Barron's Occultation a "progression" of interrelated stories, in which his main characters encounter adversity while involved in significant relationships. In fact, it is sometimes because of the significant relationship that the protagonist meets his/her doom. We've gone from Imago, a primitive and idealized chrysalis of the primary object, i.e., assimilation of the parental figure, to Occultation, the act of combining various but ambiguous dynamics to produce a specific effect in relationships, i.e., accommodation and compromise.

    A must-read for Lovecraft fans!

    37 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    Stranger

    I hate this bookv
    VEry bad language

    10 out of 50 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    Occultation

    I loved how the author used colorful words to descibe what was going on.

    7 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    No room for imagination

    Too much detail. Leaves not much room for imagination. Dry and takes to long to get to the point.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Not going to finish read

    Read the first two stories and had to stop. The review for free friday compared this author to lovecraft, king and koontz. But after reading te first two stories I have to say this author cime now where near there level of intensity and craft. I was disappointed and not even interested enough to read the remaining stories. I found the first short draged and the ending left me feeling let down, it was either too esoteric or not enough, I'm not sure. The second short was just bad, stutter shot slice of cliche bmovie horror.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    What the Heck?

    I had to Force myself to make it through the first short story.... It did not hold my interest therefore made absolutely no sense!! Just happy I got this one on Friday Freebe :(

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Not Recommended Not recommended!!

    I kept waiting for this wierd story to make sense---Didn't happen!!!

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    Crude and Pointless

    The language in this book is most crude and adds absolutely nothing to the story telling. The sexual content also is absolutely crude and pointless. If it was necessary or added something logical to the stories I could understand it, but it is pointless and just for shock factor. Deleted from my library.

    4 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    WRF WTF

    This book was/is not worth one star let alone any. I couldnt wvn get passed the firat 3 pages!!!!!!!!!?

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    Horror selection on nook free friday!

    Loving that the nook free friday book is a horror. I heard it's a good one^_~ Digging into it this weekend

    3 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2012

    Not Scary

    I didn't find these "horror" stories scary at all. In fact there were some I didn't even understand or were hard to follow. I do not recommend this book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    Amazing work

    This man's writing sinks into your psyche and haunts you. I am still reeling from these stories. Thank you Mr. Barron not only for making me afraid of the dark again, but also for reminding me that it follows you.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Creepy

    This book contains 9 creepy stories. I found all the stories to be well written and each kept my attention. I am torn between if I liked or disliked how ALL of the stories ended. Each of the stories leave the ending sort of hanging, I know this is done so you can use your own imagination to how it ends. In a way I like to ponder how the endings could be but at the same time I would have liked to see a detailed end, would have enjoyed what the author dreamed up. All and all I enjoyed all of these creepy stories.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    Unique

    Each story was a fresh premise.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 18, 2012

    Too far out

    Only read a few chaptes. Did not like, too weird for my taste.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 1, 2012

    Horrible ... my rating ¿ negative 3 stars

    I have loved horror stories since I was a child and was really looking forward to enjoying this book. Unfortunately it turned out to be one of the worst (if not THE worst) I have ever read. I got through three of the stories and they all ended in a way that made it obvious I had wasted my time reading them. The endings made no sense whatsoever. Fortunately I picked it up when it was the Free Friday selection but that does not make it a "deal" when time is wasted reading garbage, which is not obvious until you reach the end of each story. If anyone can tell me one of these stories is worth reading, please let me know which one that would be as I don't plan to torture myself any further with this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    crap

    lousy endings that make no sense.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Not Worth The Free Price or A Rating

    Was so glad I had not paid for this one! Hope I am able to leave no stars to reflect on ratings and lower it. But if there has to be one star just know I did not want to give it that high of a rating!

    NOTE: Had to give one star in order to post!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Waste of time

    Not even going to finish it!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 132 Customer Reviews

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