When Edgar Allan Poe set down the tale of the accursed House of Usher in 1839, he also laid the foundation for a literary tradition that has assumed a lasting role in American culture. "The House of Usher" and its literary progeny have not lacked for tenants in the century and a half since: writers from Nathaniel Hawthorne to Stephen King have taken rooms in the haunted houses of American fiction. Dale Bailey traces the haunted house tale from its origins in English gothic fiction to the paperback potboilers of the present, highlighting the unique significance of the house in the domestic, economic, and social ideologies of our nation. The author concludes that the haunted house has become a powerful and profoundly subversive symbol of everything that has gone nightmarishly awry in the American Dream.
Dale Bailey's new collection, The End of the End of Everything, is filled with hope. As we rush headlong toward a "Choose Your Own Apocalypse" future, Bailey hangs back, refusing to let go of the indelible ferocity of the human heart. His stories are filled with the vibrant sound of those hearts, always beating. There is the Creature from the Black Lagoon, who is more human than any of those he meets in Hollywood; Eleanor, who works at the End-of-the-World Café, and who sees the depravity and despair of the Pit every day, yet never gives up hope for her ailing child; and young Tom, lost in a world scorched by the sun, who follows the rumor of angels still hanging on the wind. Reminiscent of Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson, Dale Bailey mixes the macabre in with his melancholy, crafting stories that linger long after their reading. He sees a dark world that is growing darker, but he carries with him a light that refuses to go out.
A West Virginia mining town hides a monstrous secret in this modern masterwork of skin-crawling horrorThey say you can't go home again. Sometimes that advice should be heeded.Henry Sleep's childhood memories of Saul's Run are dark and jumbled images that terrify and confuse him in his all-too-frequent nightmares. When his mother's horrible death and a bitter falling-out with his preacher father drove Henry from his West Virginia hometown almost ten years earlier, he knew he could never look back. But now the reverend Quincy Sleep is also dead, shockingly by his own hand, and the prodigal son must return to the tiny mining town where all of his most terrible secrets dwell. And he will not be welcomed back with open arms. Not by Sheriff Harold Crawford, who hides a taste for dark things behind his lawman facade. Not by Emily, the girlfriend Henry left behind, now shackled to a dying mother. Not by his one-time best friend, Perry Holland, who feels nothing for him now but a raging, inexplicable hatred. But if Henry hopes ever to sleep again, he will stay in Saul's Run until he solves the mystery of his father's death . . . and forces himself to remember what he and Perry found stirring in the hills outside of town many years ago.
From the book jacket: Dreamland was abandoned years ago. Its concrete towers were built to house the indigent. Instead it became a perverted monument to human suffering. No one lives there anymore. But it isn't empty. People say that voices still echo from the abyss of its empty elevator shafts...and that something still breathes in its black halls. No sane person would even dare set foot in its shadow. Until tonight. Slated for demolition, Dreamland is playing host to an eccentric billionaire who's obsessed with its unspeakable past. Four strangers have been hired to join him. Each has a reason for daring the unknown and a secret that could break down the boundary between the living and the dead. Now they're about to discover where evil dwells-and thrives. And it could condemn them all to an everlasting nightmare.
A chilling twist on the haunted-house story as five strangers resolve to spend two weeks in an abandoned, high-rise urban housing project that even gang lords and crack dealers avoid . . . Chicago's Dreamland Housing Project was created to give people with nothing a second chance. Like so many ill-conceived dreams of its time, eventually the project fell into disrepair and disrepute, just another slum ruled by the gangs and the drug dealers. But there was one building in the complex that contained an evil far fouler than the kind running the streets. Here eerie sounds emanated nightly from the elevator shafts and the shadows at the far end of the hallways, and inexplicable, fatal "accidents" were the norm. Here human blood regularly soaked the walls and cheap carpeting as rapists and murderers ran rampant, though none could remember their dark deeds afterward. Now, decades later, Dreamland is empty of its residents and mostly demolished. But one building still stands, thanks to billionaire Ramsey Lomax, who won't let the city raze the last and most notorious tower until he is done with it. Along with four willing strangers--a writer, an ex-cop, a doctor, and a psychic, each with a reason for participating--Lomax intends to spend two weeks living in the abandoned tower to see if the legends are real. But nothing can prepare these five for the terror they encounter once the front door slams behind them, trapping them all inside. Because in Dreamland, every nightmare comes true.
A breathtaking collection of wonders and horrors--including robotic surrogate parents and zombie voters--from a new acknowledged master of darkest fantasyWhether speculating on an all-too-possible future or plumbing the stygian depths of supernatural evil and human degradation, Dale Bailey's award-winning short fiction has been justifiably compared to the work of some of the true giants in the field--Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, and Theodore Sturgeon, to name but a few. In this first collection of astonishing stories, the acclaimed author of the modern horror masterworks The Fallen and House of Bones demonstrates his remarkable range with tales that exhilarate, terrify, and touch the soul.A young boy comes of age on a secluded farm that grows a particularly grisly crop. The dead rise up to cast their ballots in a close presidential election. An assassin plots his next kill from inside the body of someone frighteningly close to the victim. An African American census taker discovers a hidden bayou town where time has stopped at a nightmarish point in history. Bailey takes readers inside the tents of a circus of shadows and explores an expectant father's dark and terrible legacy for his unborn child. This extraordinary collection runs the gamut from fantasy to horror, from science fiction to heartbreaking reality, speaking in voices, old and young, that brilliantly capture the light and the darkness of their ingeniously imagined worlds.
A late-night joyride takes a sharp turn into nightmare territory when a group of college students tries to cover up a crime of carelessnessA moment of inattention on a winding roadway in the Smoky Mountains leaves a stranger dead and his accidental killers at the mercy of a possible witness. Finney Durant, Nick Laymon, and Reed Tucker are desperate not to be linked to the crime. Finney and Tucker insist on hiding the corpse, and Nick, hard up for money, takes the man's cash. But the hit-and-run is just the beginning of their problems once they use a key found in the victim's pocket to open a bus locker--and find a videotape that opens an ever-widening doorway into horror.
Ph.D. student Alex Kern is having trouble passing his exams, hanging on to his girlfriend, and teaching his composition class-and that doesn't include the strange hole he's discovered in his scummy office deep under the football stadium, where more than 100,000 students, citizens, and alumni of West Georgia U gather every Saturday to worship at the feet of the mighty Fighting Bobcats.As for the hole, it seemingly has no bottom, as Alex discovers when he drops in first a rock, then his cherished Bobble Head Freud, and finally-during an especially challenging student conference-a troublesome undergraduate. Alex steels himself for the investigation to come, but no one seems to notice the missing student. Things go from bad to worse when Alex is forced to dispose of the world's foremost expert on Ezra Pound in the same way. Once again he steels himself for the consequences-and once again, no one seems to notice. Lowly student or chaired professor-either way, it doesn't seem to matter. West Georgia U can do without them.What it can't do without is its star quarterback, Ulysses Moreno. And when Alex drops him down the hole, all hell breaks loose at West Georgia U...
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