Sam Thompson


Whirlwind Romance

Longlisted for the 2023 Edge Hill Prize

‘Sam Thompson’s stories are dark and tender and brilliantly strange. A bold and impressive collection.’ – Alison Moore, author of Man Booker-shortlisted The Lighthouse

The walls of our world are thin, and in places they start to break down. A new love affair awakens a host of malignant things on the fringes of a young man’s vision. An academic uncovers an ancient song with the power to change reality. A violent computer game turns into an obsession, bleeding into the waking world.

These stories explore the cracks in the fabric of our existence, the hinterlands where the mundane meets the strange – a place where a single moment can be the catalyst to turn the very nature of reality upside down.

‘Thompson has a singular talent for establishing parallel universes through fictional settings… [his] world is at times disconcerting but, blazingly unique and shot through with illuminating shards of insight, it is never less than beguiling.’
Dublin Review of Books

‘Thompson’s short stories sit at the intersection of realism, horror/fantasy and the vaguely disturbing, non-specific Weird. They’re uniquely imaginative, evocative and charged with uncanny energy.’
Learn This Phrase (Best of 2022)

‘A unique voice. Grave, evocative, deeply compelling. Stand out story ‘The Red Song’ is extraordinary, replete with touches of Kafka, Borges and Aickman. It’s superb.’ – Jeremy Dyson, co-creator of Ghost Stories and The League of Gentlemen

‘Stories for our time, by a skilful, gifted writer remarkably good at deceptively simple opening lines. Let them draw you in.’ – Nicholas Royle, editor of Best British Short Stories

‘Sharp as a scalpel, tender as a kiss. Sam Thompson’s work is superlative. Each story in this remarkable collection hovers in the mind like a spectre long after reading, somewhere between fiction and deep truth.’ – Helen Marshall, author of The Migration

‘A collection that moves almost effortlessly from the fantastic to the realistic and back again, in a way that feels seamless and necessary and human. These are beautifully written stories that are easy to fall deeply into. One gets the impression that Thompson lives with one foot in the world we know and one foot in a stranger, more resonant world – and lives in a way that lets him glimpse the magic in the grimly real, and vice versa.’ – Brian Evenson, author of Song for the Unraveling of the World

‘These stories are written with astringent precision; Thompson’s prose is sharp, clarifying, revelatory even.’ – Naomi Booth, author of Sealed

Whirlwind Romance

Whirlwind Romance, a collection of weird stories, was described by the Dublin Review of Books as ‘blazingly unique and shot through with illuminating shards of insight’. It was longlisted for the 2023 Edge Hill Prize.