These 20 stories will take you into the darkness, and sometimes bring you back. But now and then there is no getting out, the lights have faded, the pitch black wrapping around you like a festering blanket of lies. What will you do now? It's eat or be eaten-so bring a strong stomach and a hearty appetite.
Praise for ''Staring into the Abyss''
"The stories in STARING INTO THE ABYSS are little literary predators that are smart, savage, and stealthy, with a lethal pounce at the end. Readers who enjoy finely-crafted and genuinely disturbing dark fiction will love Richard Thomas's outstanding collection."
-Lisa Morton, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Monsters in L.A.
"STARING INTO THE ABYSS by Richard Thomas is an outstanding book, a grim tapestry of broken lives and shattered dreams, of dark fantasies and dark reflections. It's one of the better single-author collections I've had the pleasure to read in recent years, and as such, gets my highest recommendation. It's also a fine testament to a talent I suspect we are going to be hearing a lot more from, and soon."
-Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Turtle Boy, and Kin.
"With STARING INTO THE ABYSS, Richard Thomas takes you on a ride into a world of darkness and despair, punches you in the gut, and leaves you breathless. You'll hug your psyche a little tighter after reading."
-Damien Walters Grintalis, author of Ink
"STARING INTO THE ABYSS is gritty and ugly, seductive and sexy. Inside these filthy walls you will find everything you've ever feared you'd become; thugs, drunks, cons, prostitutes, murderers. Think of these pages as a mirror of what anyone--even you--can become, after just a few critical mistakes in life. Richard Thomas has proven time and again that he is one of the rising stars in the neo-noir culture. With Staring into the Abyss, he proves he has mastered it."
-Max Booth III, author of True Stories Told By a Liar and Black Cadillacs
"NO ONE DOES IT like Richard Thomas. Dark and disturbing, his unique blend of horror and noir digs its way into your psyche and leaves you begging for more."
-C. W. LaSart, author of Ad Nauseam
"Richard Thomas may well be the best author that you haven't heard of yet...The longest story in the collection ['Victimized'] is...one of the best short stories that I've ever read. This kind of transgressive fiction is absolutely my favorite style of writing, leaning close enough towards horror to satisfy all of my darker urges."
-P.M. Buchan, Starburst Magazine
"Richard Thomas is a workhorse who is no stranger to dark fiction. But with his newest anthology of short fiction...[he] cranks the intensity up a notch while simultaneously turning the dimmer switch all the way down...Richard Thomas presents his gritty vision of despair at an unflinching, rapid-fire pace."
-Sean Leonard, Horror News
"This collection examines darker elements of the human condition with a mixture of wit and unflinching brutality...There are some great stories here, ranging from subtle humor to rushes of adrenaline. 'Underground Wonder Bound' had me practically euphoric with its pitch-perfect ending. 'Victimized' had me on the edge of my seat, completely wrapped up in the story and oblivious to the world around me."
-The Indiscriminate Critic
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About the Author
He was the winner of the Cafe Doom / One Buck Horror contest in 2011. He was one of five winners recognized at Punchnel's in their Hard-Boiled Down Noir Fiction contest in 2011. Richard was the winner of the ChiZine Publications 2009 "Enter the World of Filaria" contest. It has since gone on to also win at Jotspeak.
He has published over sixty stories, and his work is published or forthcoming in Shivers VI (Cemetery Dance) with Stephen King and Peter Straub, Murky Depths, PANK, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Pear Noir!, Metazen, Curbside Splendor, 3:AM Magazine, Word Riot, Dogmatika, Opium, Vain, Emprise Review, Cherry Bleeds, Beat to a Pulp, Crime Factory, Warmed and Bound (Velvet Press), Noir at the Bar (Noir at the Bar Press), Slices of Flesh (Dark Moon Books), Dark Moon Presents: Vampires (Dark Moon Books), In Search of a City: Los Angeles in 1,000 Words (Thunderdome Press), Eternal Night: A Vampire Anthology (Living Dead Press), Outsider Writers Collective, The Oddville Press, Colored Chalk, Cause and Effect, Gold Dust, Nefarious Muse, and Troubadour 21.
In his spare time he is a Featured Book Critic at The Nervous Breakdown and writes a column, entitled, Storyville, at Lit Reactor. He received four Pushcart nominations in 2011.
He lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and is represented by Paula Munier at Talcott Notch Literary Agency.