Occultation and Other Stories

Occultation and Other Stories

2.6 135
by Laird Barron
     
 

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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

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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.

Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.

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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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597801928
Publisher:
Night Shade Books
Publication date:
07/28/2010
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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Occultation and Other Stories 2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 134 reviews.
Jody_Rose More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Each story was a fresh premise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was a bunch of short stories that .... just don't make sense. I wasn't pleased or happy that I've read this, in fact I was happy that this was a free book, cause I sure wouldn't recommend this unless it was for torture them
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Laird Barron is a great story teller and a master of terror by far one of the best book I have read this year.
Pat427 More than 1 year ago
I always thought of myself as a diverse reader, but I just couldn't get into this book. Maybe I just didn't understand the concept, but talk about cockroaches and other bugs turned me off. I'm sure there are readers who will enjoy it. For me it was offbeat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read at night before going to bed and I knew I had read something by this author before but I really couldn't remember what. Well I got to the end of the second story when it hit me that I had read this one before and it still really creeped me out. I didn't want to turn off the light! I would suggest it to anyone that enjoyes a good mind scare. He gets in your mind and gets a good hold and before you know it the creeps start creeping up your spine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this collection thoroughly. The writing and detail are top notch. I found the stories scarey, engrossing and a great blend of horror & fantasy. I'm not sure why so many readers hated it. I would highly recommend to lovers of the genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too much detail. Leaves not much room for imagination. Dry and takes to long to get to the point.
osaka More than 1 year ago
Only a couple of stories scared me. This is not what I expected.  Stories didn't actually end, the writer left you hanging as to what would happen. Not recommended.
AJae More than 1 year ago
some good and some very esoteric.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror collections and I love Lairds work. Reading the other reviews here pissed me off, what with the whining about language and not even giving the full book a chance. Really? people actually whine about "foul" language? it's a collection of horror stories so you should at LEAST expect a little bit of perversion, but I oft times find that the gross detail Laird puts in his stories is in a whole gross in a beautiful way. Anyway, don't knock it before you've given it a chance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are only three stories that border on being spooky tales. Then they die out just as they start to gain momentum. Leaving the reader wondering if someone stole the last chapter from the book. The rest is just obscenely gay porn.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Laird Barron seemlessly melds literature with horror. The stories are poignant, scary, beautiful, bone-chilling, epic...this reader can't praise him enough!!
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SFTurtleMind More than 1 year ago
Laird Barron writes in the genre of Weird Fiction. He has been compared to H. P. Lovecraft, Poe, and other authors who take the outre genre seriously. However, he definitely possess his own authorial voice. Each work by Barron builds on a foundational mythos that is slowly being developed by Barrron. His ability to capture the nuances of contemporary life among the privilege classes, have their world infiltrated by the psychological, physical, and transcendent universes where humans are unprivileged and exist as another life form to exploit for insidious purposes is well described; and this is where the unsettling nature of his work draws strength. Responding to the individual who was "offended" by the language; the language is true to the nature of Barron's work and characterizations, it is not gratuitous.
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