‘Twelve years ago he had met Fern and the things had arrived, nameless then, crooning and sniggering as they swarmed around her, scrabbling at the catches of what was real.’
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. Breathtaking, poetic, and yet shot through with an unsettling darkness.
‘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
‘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