Strange Weather: Four Short Novels

Strange Weather: Four Short Novels

by Joe Hill


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Locus Award Finalist!

Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinalist!

A collection of four chilling novels, ingeniously wrought gems of terror from the brilliantly imaginative, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman, Joe Hill.

"One of America’s finest horror writers" (Time magazine), Joe Hill has been hailed among legendary talents such as Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman, and Jonathan Lethem. In Strange Weather, this "compelling chronicler of human nature’s continual war between good and evil," (Providence Journal-Bulletin) who "pushes genre conventions to new extremes" (New York Times Book Review) deftly expose the darkness that lies just beneath the surface of everyday life.

"Snapshot" is the disturbing story of a Silicon Valley adolescent who finds himself threatened by "The Phoenician," a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid Instant Camera that erases memories, snap by snap.

A young man takes to the skies to experience his first parachute jump. . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero’s island of roiling vapor that seems animated by a mind of its own in "Aloft."

On a seemingly ordinary day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails—splinters of bright crystal that shred the skin of anyone not safely under cover. "Rain" explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as the deluge of nails spreads out across the country and around the world.

In "Loaded," a mall security guard in a coastal Florida town courageously stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun rights movement. But under the glare of the spotlights, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it. When an out-of-control summer blaze approaches the town, he will reach for the gun again and embark on one last day of reckoning.

Masterfully exploring classic literary themes through the prism of the supernatural, Strange Weather is a stellar collection from an artist who is "quite simply the best horror writer of our generation" (Michael Koryta).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062663122
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/26/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 71,916
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Joe Hill is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Fireman, NOS4A2, Horns, and Heart-Shaped Box; Strange Weather, a collection of novellas; and the prize-winning story collection 20th Century Ghosts. He is also the Eisner Award-winning writer of a six-volume comic book series, Locke & Key. Much of his work has been adapted for film and TV, including NOS4A2 (AMC), Locke & Key (Netflix), and In the Tall Grass (Netflix).

Customer Reviews

Strange Weather: Four Short Novels 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've "read" all of Joe Hills books (heart shaped box on audio book) and I love a good 600+ page book. I'm a huge fan of his dad Stephen King. I've read The Stand, IT, and Tommyknockers multiple times. But it takes a different kind of author to write short stories and pack a punch in 100 pages or so. Joe does this phenomenology in Strange Weather. Whether he writes another huge or small book I'll be there at the ready.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very much enjoyed these stories. Would like a part two on a couple of stories
Myndia More than 1 year ago
Strange Weather is a collection of four novellas by Joe Hill. Each story is entirely unique. The first story, “Snapshot”, is about a young boy who accidentally finds himself in the path of a man with a camera capable of taking a lot more than your picture. In “Loaded”, a reporter who once lost a loved one to a racist police shooting follows the story of the supposed hero of a mall shooting, and what she discovers will change her life forever. “Aloft” traps an anxious young man in the clouds, and in the final story, “Rain”, the clouds turn dark and deadly. Prior to this, I’d only read NOS4A2, and I was crazy about it. It is one of a handful of books that I still flash back to now and again, particularly when I’m struggling to fall asleep. And now every time I see a sign proclaiming our lovely state of Maine “Vacationland”, my mind converts it to Christmasland. So, it’s probably fair to say I was excited (AHHHH!!!!) and had some high expectations. While I wasn’t disappointed in the least, it also wasn’t at all what I expected. And really, that’s perfectly fine. Joe Hill is not a one trick pony and he is not Stephen King the 2nd. He is an excellent storyteller with a full tool box and a stellar imagination. What I think I love most about Strange Weather is the range, going from a completely realistic, yet horrifying, scenario in one story, to jumping out of an airplane and being caught by a cloud that isn’t a cloud at all in another. While only one story could be considered “political”, all four stories hit on relevant current concerns: aging and memory loss, gun control and racial profiling, anxiety and fear, and gender/sexuality and climate change/apocalypse. I love the mix of practical relevance and fantastical events. My favorite story was “Loaded” because it hit home for me, and I felt like the subject matter was treated with an equal hand. Frightfully applicable given the recent tragedy in Las Vegas. While I’m not sure it is appropriate to call it horror, it is horrifying because a) it happens here all the time and b) we continue to do nothing about it. Nothing is scarier than the monster walking amongst us. All of the stories were interesting, some were provocative, and some were really out there. While I enjoyed them each individually, collectively they are truly wonderful. Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overall a great collection. Snapshot, Loaded, and Rain were great. Aloft was okay. Not bad, but it did not wow me like the other three.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved all four novels
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've become a big fan of Joe Hill. Much like another author we know and love (Stephen King) Mr Hill sucks you into his stories and doesn't let you go til the end. I love novels and short stories that you just can't put down and this book does not dissapoint. Great job! Keep em coming!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’ve loved all of Joe Hill’s books, and this one is no exception. it’s nice to have the quick read that sucks you in until you finish it as quickly as you can, and that’s how these stories were for me. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved all four stories! I have read all of Joe Hill's books and this one was just as satisfying as all his others. I look forward to his next book- be it a full length novel or a collection of short stories- I know I won't be disappointed either way! Thanks Mr. rock dude!
Eric_J_Guignard 6 days ago
REVIEWED: Strange Weather WRITTEN BY: Joe Hill PUBLISHED: October, 2017 I didn’t quite like this collection of four novellas as much as I expected to… meaning, there’s nothing wrong with it, but just a sense of personal deflatement from anticipation. The stories were all fine, although none of them overly “thrilled” me. "Snapshot" = Good premise, just seemed to go on way too long. "Rain” = Good apocalyptic tale, that served more as a backdrop for a mystery. Hated the decisions the main character did throughout, as well as her dialogue/ inner voice. "Aloft" = My favorite of the book, mostly because it was the most imaginative. "Loaded” = non-speculative story about gun violence. A lot of back-and-forth twists, and had the best (most unexpected) ending in the collection. Four out of Five stars
dave Lewis 30 days ago
four short stories that are so good, I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
Some readers might overlook this collection because they aren’t into short fiction but this collection includes four complete novels and trust me, you’ll forget you are reading short fiction once you get into each story. This is a really excellent collection of stories. I hate to compare Joe Hill to his pop (Stephen King) but he has a very similar sense of humor which comes out in his writing. Not surprising really. I enjoyed all of these novels but my fave is probably the one titled “Loaded”. A mall cop is hailed as a hero until the full story is revealed. It has plenty to say about gun control and with everything currently going on in our world, this story is timely. Although I shy away from short fiction, I couldn’t help but fall into these stories. Hill delivers realistic characters and has a knack for pacing. I never felt like the stories were too short which is how I sometimes feel with short fiction. Strange Weather is a good example of short fiction which is also very satisfying to read.
FrancescaFB More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SheTreadsSoftly More than 1 year ago
Strange Weather: Four Short Novels by Joe Hill is highly recommended collection of 4 novellas that are independent stories. Snapshot: Michael is a thirteen year old boy who must protect Shelly, his elderly neighbor who has dementia, from the person she calls the Polaroid Man. Michael meets him, but he thinks of him as The Phoenician because of the tattoos he sports. The Phoenician has an odd looking Polaroid-like camera that he uses to erase memories. Aloft: A young man agrees to skydive to impress the woman he loves but ends up crashing on a solid object obscured by a cloud. The cloud/object seems to have the ability to read his mind and tries to provide what he needs. Loaded: Gun violence connects the characters, an adulterous couple, a mall security guard, and a local journalist, in a Florida town. The mall cop stops a mass shooting, becoming a hero, but then his story comes under question. Rain: A rain cloud approaches Boulder, Colorado, and the storm contains a deluge of nail-like razor sharp crystal shards, killing almost everyone caught in the storm. It is uncertain if the apocalyptic event is from climate change or chemical warfare. Apparently the disaster is spreading and from now on the nail-like crystals may be what fall instead of rain. I loved two of the stories in this collection, Snapshot and Rain, and I liked Aloft quite a bit. Loaded was my least favorite of the quartet, mainly because it felt more like a need to express personal emotions and political views over guns and it seemed to run on way too long. All in all, though, this was a strong, well-written collection of stories. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins
Millie_Hennessy More than 1 year ago
This collection gave me more feelings than I was expecting. Snapshot – Don’t let the Polaroid Man take your picture, because once he starts taking things from you, he may never stop. This story gave me the creeps immediately. There’s an undertone of worry that comes through, even before our teenage narrator picks up on the spooky happenings. Once the Polaroid Man comes on the scene, the story really picks up the pace. Since it’s so short, I won’t say much about the plot, but a story about an evil polaroid stirred up all sorts of nostalgia for me (while also unsettling me). The underlying theme of this story touches on why our memories are so important to us and how they shape who we are. Loaded – Four people’s lives are linked together and horribly altered after a mall shooting. I don’t even know how to talk about this story – the short answer is it is highly socially (and politically?) relevant right now, messed up and painful to read. I was expecting another story where the horror element was magical or unexplained, but unfortunately, the horror in this book was man-made. There are three points of view in this story and four main characters that are seemingly unconnected other than that they use guns or have lost someone to gun use. As the story progresses, the character’s lives are drawn together as tragedy unfolds. Loaded touches on prejudice and the power guns can give people. The villain in this story was utterly detestable, yet so real. He’s brutal and deluded and as much as I loathed him, his actions weren’t just senseless violence (well, they were) because he believed they were justified. He was truly vile. The ending took me by surprise and I’m still not over it. I was not prepared for the level of emotion this story gave me and while it was painful to read, I’m glad I read it. I have a hard time declaring something as an “important read” (because I’m not sure I’m qualified to make that judgment), but if you only read one book from this collection, I’d suggest this one. Aloft – When the engine dies on the plane a group of skydivers is ready to jump from, they’re forced to jump early. One lands on a cloud that’s more than it seems. I don’t have a lot to say about this story, though I enjoyed it. Our narrator is a little pathetic, joining in a group skydive with the girl he’s in (unrequited) love with to honor a friend who died of cancer, but mostly to be with the girl he loves. He’s afraid and unwilling to jump, but forced from the plane after engine troubles. He lands not on the ground, but a strange cloud that has the ability to mold itself to his desires (there’s some cloud sex; it’s pretty weird) in order to keep him happy. Out of the four, it’s the weakest novella, but I don’t dislike it. It was an interesting and original idea that I, unfortunately, have few thoughts on. Rain – Deadly rain begins to fall in Denver, killing thousands with strange, crystal-like needles. Potentially weaponized rain that falls in the form of sharp, deadly crystals seems like a plausible future to me. Am I jaded? Delusional? Clueless when it comes to science? Sure! But Rain seemed less fantasy-based compared to Aloft and Snapshot. It’s also scary to think about the possibility of normal rain ceasing to exist and how that would cause the decline of humanity, not to mention more deaths every time the crystals fell. I don’t know – it was disturbing and I liked it. This is an excellent collection and my first experience reading something shorter f
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This will be the last book by Hill I invest any time into• I do not care about his political views and do not wish to have his agenda shoved down my throat while reading fantasy, shame on you Mr Hill