At the dawn of the twentieth century in the Idaho logging town of Eliada, orphaned farm boy Jason Thistledown and black physician Andrew Waggoner came face to face with monsters: the human sort, in the form of American eugenicists seeking to perfect the human race through breeding and culls; and the inhuman, a parasitic species named Juke, that lived off the hopes, dreams, and faith of humanity, even as it consumed it from within.
They were the beautiful dreamers. From a hidden city deep in the Ural mountains, they walked the world as the coldest of Cold Warriors, under the command of the Kremlin and under the power of their own expansive minds. They slipped into the minds of Russia’s enemies with diabolical ease, and drove their human puppets to murder – and worse. They moved as Gods. And as Gods, they might have remade the world.
A young bride and her future mother-in-law risk everything to escape it. A repentant father summons help from a pot of tar to ensure it. A starving woman learns from howling winds and a whispering host, just how fulfilling it can finally be. Can “it” be love?
Here is the classic debut collection of creepy tales from David Nickle, the award-winning author of such celebrated works as Volk: A Novel of Radiant Abomination and Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism. One of the foremost practitioners of Canadian Gothic fiction, Nickle is widely acclaimed for his evocative prose and sui generis imagination.
A young man at loose ends finds he cannot look away from his new lover’s alien gaze. A young woman out of time seeks her old lover in the cold spaces between the stars. The fleeing worshippers of an ancient and jealous deity seek solace in an unsuspecting New World congregation
The Devil’s Exercise Yard
Welcome to the yard. You’ve got 20 minutes a day here. Let’s make it count.
With apologies to you-know-who…
Please allow me to introduce myself.
I’m David Nickle and I write stories. Most of them are horror stories, but in the mix are science fiction, fantasy, and stories that are just stories. Some of those stories you can find at places like Tor.com, The Best Horror of the Year, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and two short story collections: Monstrous Affections and Knife Fight and Other Struggles.
On this site, you can find more information on those books. There’s a page with some links to stories of mine available online. There’s a gallery of illustrations I made, for the stories in Monstrous Affections, and that my father Lawrence Nickle made for a special edition of Eutopia. And there’s a blog, the Devil’s Exercise Yard, where I’ll occasionally sound off on whatever’s occurring to me in the moment.
Think of it as a nice light workout for idle minds.
David Nickle will be reading at the International …