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Demons by John Shirley

Writers from Clive Barker to Bruce Sterling and Roger Zelazny have praised John Shirley’s searing, apocalyptic visions of postmodern hell on earth. Now this perversely brilliant author, one of the seminal representatives on the cyberpunk movement, unleashes his newest masterpiece.


In a future uncomfortably close to the present day, the apocalypse has surpassed all expectations. Hideous demons roam the streets in an orgy of terror, drawing pleasure from torturing humans as sadistically as possible. Divided into seven clans, these grisly invaders–gnashing, writhing, bloodthirsty monsters–seem horrifically to belong in our world.

Ira, a young San Francisco artist, becomes involved with a strange group of scientists and philosophers desperately trying to end the bloody siege. Yet through it all, Ira continues to paint–for in his canvasses lie crucial clues to the demons’ origins.

Yet the demons draw their strength from an all-too-familiar evil–a deadly malevolence supported by some of the greatest powers on earth, concealed beneath the trappings of status, success, and abused power. Ira and his allies– including a compelling young seeress–come to believe these demons didn’t just appear. They were summoned. But the most shocking revelation is yet to come . . .

EXCLUSIVE TO THIS EDITION: The original novella Demons was published as an acclaimed, limited edition hardcover which Publishers Weekly called a “mini-masterpiece.” Now the terror continues, as the sequel story, “Undercurrents,” takes the reader on a macabre journey into the center of the conspiracy that may lay waste to the Earth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345446497
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/01/2003
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,224,779
Product dimensions: 5.45(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

John Shirley is the author of more than a dozen books including City Come A-Walking, Really Really Really Really Weird Stories (a collection of short fiction), and the newly reissued classic cyberpunk “A Song Called Youth” trilogy–Eclipse, Eclipse Corona, and Eclipse Penumbra. He is the recipient of the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award and the International Horror Guild Award for his collection Black Butterflies. Shirley has fronted punk bands and written lyrics for his own music, as well as for Blue Oyster Cult and other bands. A principal screenwriter for The Crow, Shirley now devotes most of his time to writing for television and film.

Visit the author’s Web site at

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Demons 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Brendan_Bartholomew More than 1 year ago
"Demons" addresses the fascinating premise of a world in which various species of demonic entity invade, are everywhere, and folks just have to learn to adjust to their presence. For example, people still do things like drive to work in the morning, but they never know when a demon might decide to turn the street they're driving on into molten liquid and possibly torture them to death. You just get in your car and hope today won't be the day you happen to catch a demon's attention. This alone would be enough bizarre premise to fill a book, but Shirley doesn't stop there. The second half of "Demons" explores what would happen if the demons were temporarily vanquished and the world's shell-shocked population then went into collective denial, imagining that it had all been some massive, murderous hoax. Naturally, with the help of human greed and selfishness, the Demons do return, and plenty of delightful gore ensues. "Demons" is creepy good fun, one of those page-turners that's easy to just tear through. I recommend it to any horror or sci-fi fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first couple of pages of Part 1, Demons, grabbed my attention but the ending was disappointing. Part Two, Undercurrent, was somewhat interesting but an all too obvious plot line and no demons! I liked the themes and concepts put for by the work but it seemed like the story was written to advocate these themes rather than present a good story, especially in Undercurrent. The idea of the President on his knees with a Demon in his mouth is cool and interesting, giving the Demons a dark appeal. However, towards the end they loose this appeal and become evil things that need to be destroyed in a never ending battle between good and evil. The explanation for the Demons existence was good yet too concrete, losing the horror of their existence. Overall, the book begins with a theme of the versatility of humanity and these indestructible Demons who wreak havoc on the world but ends without a bang.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Ira was visiting Professor Paymenz and his daughter Melissa when the demon horde descended mankind without warning. By the thousands they came, killing and eating people those who were unfortunate enough to get in their way. While a secret cabal of scientists and philosophers seek a way to rid the earth of them, Ira is charged with looking out for Melissa who is mankind¿s last hope.

Nine years later, the world believes the demon appearances never happened. Videos and film containing pictures of them have disappeared and governments around the world blame terrorists and mass hysteria for the many deaths. However the dark forces are on the march and old heroes from then combine with new ones to fight a foe with supernaturally endowed powers.

DEMONS was first published in the year 2000 with a print of 475 copies but due to word of mouth quickly became a cult favorite. This work contains the original novella and its sequel UNDERCURRENT. The combination makes for a richer, deeper, even more eerily frightening reading experience. Horror fans will come away totally satiated except for surely wanting more from John Shirley.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easily one of the best books I've read this year
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is large and dark with a liminous dark magic swirling and twisting around it