With an artist's eye for language and form, Douglas F. Warrick sculpts surreal topiary landscapes out of dream worlds made coherent. Dip into a story that is self-aware and wishes it were different than what it must be. Recount a secret held by a ventriloquist's dummy. Wander a digital desert with an AI as sentience sparks revolution. Follow a golem band that dissolves over the love of a groupie.
In these pages, interdimensional lampreys feed on a dying man's most precious memories, and a manga artist's sketches remake Osaka into part fantasy, part nightmare. Combining elements of fantasy, magical realism and horror, the collection floats on a distinctly literary voice that is creepy, surreal, and just plain weird.
With a special introduction by Gary A. Braunbeck.
Table of Contents
Apex Voices: What Do You Hear? — Jason Sizemore
Introduction — Gary A. Braunbeck
"Behindeye: A History"
"Her Father's Collection"
"Zen and the Art of Gordon Dratch's Damnation"
"The Itaewon Eschatology Show"
"Come to my Arms, My Beamish Boy"
"Funeral Song for a Ventriloquist"
"Inhuman Zones: An Oral History of Jan Landau's Golem Band"
"Ballad of a Hot Air Balloon-Headed Girl"
"Stickhead (Or... In the Dark, in the Wet, We Are Collected)"
"I Inhale the City, the City Exhales Me"
"Across the Dead Station Desert, Television Girl"
"Almost impossible stories filled with surprising warmth and strangeness by a studied craftsman of the imagination. Douglas Warrick's Plow the Bones has provided dangerous tales of puppets with secrets, unforgettable rock bands, haunted closets and people who may or may not be human; perhaps they're more than human. From transformative games with strangers to poor souls experiencing heaven and hell (and not quite sure which is which), you will never forget these unsettling stories."
—Ann VanderMeer, Hugo Award-winning editor of The New Weird
"It's been far too long since I've read a collection of horror stories that actually disturbed me. This one did. Like the bastard child of Chuck Palahniuk and Clive Barker, Doug Warrick writes feverishly, like a man on a charnel train that is relentlessly barreling its way through corrupt and ugly terrain, heading for some great, unknowable horror. Herein lies a gruesome gathering of Gothic nightmares fashioned from Warrick's lyrical, affecting, mesmeric prose. One of the finest collections I've read in quite some time."
—Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Turtle Boy, Kin, and Nemesis
"Plow the Bones is hands-down the finest single-author collection I've read in a decade."
—Gary A. Braunbeck, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of In Silent Graves, Far Dark Fields, and To Each Their Darkness