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and Other Strange Stories
Jason A Wyckoff
This new collection of sixteen tales uncovers the strangeness within everyday America, the fable in the familiar. ‘The Highwall Horror’ sees an office worker discover the portal to an alien cathedral in a cubicle wall; in ‘Panorama’ an artist’s agent examines his client’s deserted masterpiece; a young man follows a forgotten song to the haunted town that spawned it in ‘The Bells, Then the Birds’; a young mother escapes her wastrel husband only to become lost in a perilous swell of freedom in ‘The Mauve Blot’; and in ‘Black Horse’ an inherited steed brings uneasiness and worse to its new owner.
Black Horse and Other Strange Stories is Jason A. Wyckoff’s first venture into print. He explores the surreal and supernatural in an original, authentic, and always insightful new voice. Wyckoff was born in Columbus, Ohio, USA, where he still lives with his wife and their pets. He was awarded a Bachelor of Music Composition degree from The Ohio State University and then played indie-rock in dive bars for a decade or so.
Also available by Jake Wyckoff, The Hidden Back Room.
'... "The Walk Home" is understated and elegiac ... "The Night of His Sister’s Engagement" ... satisfyingly ambiguous throughout.... "A Civil Complaint" is the best story in the book, a delicious black comedy in which every word counts ... Title story "Black Horse" is another highlight ... a strange offbeat tale ... "nott’s Letter" ... the danger in this story somewhat more concrete than elsewhere, and Wyckoff showing that he is as adept at writing the overtly horrific as he appears to be with more abstract material. ... And finally we have the metafictional "A Matter of Mirrors" in which a vampire explains why his kind do not reflect, the author poking gentle fun at the current vogue for vampire confessionals, then adding a chilling final twist.' Peter Tennant, Trumpetville
'Wyckoff is quite adept at creating the peculiar combination of puzzlement, awe and intuitive understanding that Aickman first achieved.' Rick Kleffel, American Public Radio Books
' "The Highwall Horror" [is a] story full of oblique angles and shifting perspectives, as the protagonist's worldview becomes unravelled ... "Black Horse" [is] another highlight ... A strange offbeat tale, with hints of the wild hunt ... but with a quality that is uniquely Wyckoff’s own ... "A Willow Cat in Meadowlark" [is a] story melding prosaic and magical to the betterment of both.' Peter Tennant, Black Static
'...these tales are the work of a writer skilled at navigating the twists and turns of his unconventional horror themes.' Publishers Weekly
'Black Horse is a surprising and impossible-to-overlook debut, perhaps even a dark horse contender for best collection of the year.' Twilight Ridge
'It's the sort of collection that you'll read slowly, deliberately, drawing out the pleasure on your porch in the long afternoons and haunted evenings.' Agony Column
'This is an astonishing debut book by a superb writer, whose stories remind us how rewarding and bewitching good fiction can be.' Mario Guslandi, The British Fantasy Society
Copyright Tartarus Press 2021