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Growing Things and Other Stories lives, and a NEW fancy website coming soon

Yeah, watch this space for a better, easier to navigate website, and other fun stuff. Coming later this summer.

But here now…



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A chilling collection of psychological suspense and literary horror from the multiple award-winning author of the national bestseller The Cabin at the End of the World and A Head Full of Ghosts.

A masterful anthology featuring nineteen pieces of short fiction, Growing Things is an exciting glimpse into Paul Tremblay’s fantastically fertile imagination.

In “The Teacher,” a Bram Stoker Award nominee for best short story, a student is forced to watch a disturbing video that will haunt and torment her and her classmates’ lives.

Four men rob a pawn shop at gunpoint only to vanish, one-by-one, as they speed away from the crime scene in “The Getaway.”

In “Swim Wants to Know If It’s as Bad as Swim Thinks,” a meth addict kidnaps her daughter from her estranged mother as their town is terrorized by a giant monster . . . or not.

Joining these haunting works are stories linked to Tremblay’s previous novels. The tour de force metafictional novella “Notes from the Dog Walkers” deconstructs horror and publishing, possibly bringing in a character from A Head Full of Ghosts, all while serving as a prequel to Disappearance at Devil’s Rock. “The Thirteenth Temple” follows another character from A Head Full of Ghosts—Merry, who has published a tell-all memoir written years after the events of the novel. And the title story, “Growing Things,” a shivery tale loosely shared between the sisters in A Head Full of Ghosts, is told here in full.

From global catastrophe to the demons inside our heads, Tremblay illuminates our primal fears and darkest dreams in startlingly original fiction that leaves us unmoored. As he lowers the sky and yanks the ground from beneath our feet, we are compelled to contemplate the darkness inside our own hearts and minds.

“[Growing Things] brilliantly takes ordinary situations—an author reading, an AP history class, a family vacation—and seamlessly sprinkles in a sense of unease that quickly builds to a sense of pure horror. . . . These are stories that live in the increasing popular space between literary fiction and horror, where speculative terrors and very real universal truths collide.”– Booklist (starred review)

“Tremblay’s unsettling prose, filled with poetic metaphors, sets an ominous tone, and readers will be sucked in from page one.”– Library Journal

“It is a terrible thing to read a Paul Tremblay story. . . Terrible because you know, going in, that it’s probably going to mess you up. That his stories and his words have this way of getting under your skin. Of crawling inside you like bugs and just . . . living there. They become indistinguishable from memory. . . It’s terrible to read these stories, but you do it anyway. . . They’re fun because they’re dangerous. Because, word by word and title by title, I can feel the damage accruing. The scars.”– NPR

“These frighteningly imaginative slices of horror are often far more chilling than their relatively mundane inspirations. . . . . From high fantasy to monsters to (literally) Hellboy, [Growing Thingshas] something for everyone who digs things that go bump in the night.”– Kirkus Reviews

“Paul Tremblay has mastered creepy, interstitial spaces with his own brand of supernatural-adjacent horror. This collection proves again that in any form, at any length, Tremblay is a must-read.”– Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers and Invasive

“Those hoping for the perfect balance of terror and psychological insight that makes for the most frightening reading should flock to Growing Things.”– Los Angeles Times

“A skilled purveyor of the uncanny who always seeks meaning amidst the fear, Paul Tremblay is one of the key writers who have made modern horror exciting again.”– Adam Nevill, author of The Ritual

“Paul Tremblay’s writing has a way of sneaking under your skin and messing with your head. . . . Growing Things is a collection of bite-sized, disturbing and brilliantly observed stories . . . Some will make you question everything you thought you knew about the craft of writing.”– Sarah Lotz, author of The Three and The White Road

“A short story collection from a favorite author is just the best possible thing in the world; Growing Things is among the best of them.”– Cemetery Dance

GQ Interview “Paul Tremblay Is Horror’s Newest Big Thing”

SLANT Magazine interview: “Paul Tremblay on Growing Things and the Hope of Horror Fiction”

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The Cabin at the End of the World liner notes

The following is included in the newly released paperback version of THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD. I’m posting it here so all you kind folks who purchased the book previously can have a peek at the inspirations, easter eggs, and my not-really-petulant thoughts on the ending. The perfect (for this book) ending, if I don’t say so myself.


Liner notes for CABIN


That was fun, right?

(I assume you read the book before turning to the back to read this. You really should read the book before wandering back here. No good will come from the following otherwise.)

Below is a collection of somewhat disjointed thoughts on the writing of the book.


The novel started with a sketch in my notebook. I was flying back to the east coast from Los Angeles and doodling in one of my writing notebooks. Tucked underneath a random joke from Young Frankenstein, I unconsciously or subconsciously drew a little cabin. The cabin made me think of home invasion stories. Oddly enough it’s probably my least favorite horror subgenre. Home invasion stories are so personally frightening, but too many of the movies focus on the violence/torture over character. So, I thought, okay, big mouth, how would you write a home invasion story then? When I got home I moved the cabin sketch/idea into a more serious notebook (I have issues…) and fleshed out who the characters would become.


(The watching-a-film thing is something I wrote about in my short story “The Teacher,” and here it evolved into the family being shown news clips on the satellite television.  I still don’t know what “fancy pen horror” is.)


Chapter 1

  • The only book that I re-read before I started to write Cabin was the classic Lord of the Flies by William Golding. It’s not a home invasion story, clearly, but I wanted the mindset of that novel. I wanted my book to (hopefully) make the reader feel the way that book makes me feel. The opening lines of Cabin are a riff on the opening lines of Flies. • Being a math person by day (um, no math at night; thems the rules), I couldn’t help but play some numbers games with the book. Its original, working title was The Four in reference to the special number of invaders who show up. The book is broken up into four sections and I was going to include a fourth epigraph (more on that in the last chapter). Anyway, yes, it was purposeful that Wen and Leonard catch seven grasshoppers (the same number of main characters in the novel) and then have a discussion about that number. Seven seals (not the cute aquatic mammals) perhaps? • The sizable Leonard was named after Of Mice and Men’s Lenny. • Leonard and Wen sitting across from each other on the grass is meant to recall an iconic scene in James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931).

Chapter 2

  • A yellow canoe glides by the cabin. For years I’ve been borderline obsessed with using the color yellow in many of stories without ever really being able to explain why. In an older novella called “The Harlequin and the Train” (reprinted by Concord Free Press as one half of a free book called Another Way to Fall. Yes, I said free; all you have to do is write them and ask for a copy.), the color yellow was used to mirror the yellow letters crawling across the news ticker on a television screen. In one of my earlier novels, A Head Full of Ghosts, yellow was a reference to the classic short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” In Cabin (or at least in my mind) yellow represents death. • Eric’s nondescript thriller about a child going missing, yeah, he’s reading (and not really into) my novel Disappearance at Devil’s Rock. Everyone’s a critic. • I mention Andrew reading aloud passages about Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. There are many academics who think yellow represents death in that novel. So that was a tiny, obscure yellow clue, I suppose, not one I would ever expect anyone to pick up when reading my book. Sometimes I play little games with myself to keep the novel-writing process fresh and interesting (interesting to me, anyway). And playing with yellow here was a fun way to keep my gears spinning instead of grinding during the writing process. Let’s keep track of the end table and its little yellow lamp going forward, okay? • Leonard, Sabrina, Adriane, and Redmond. Their names all have seven letters. Their names have origins/meanings that correspond to the color of their shirts. The colors correspond, mostly, to the color of the Four Horsemen. • Redmond knocks over the little yellow (death!) lamp and that means he’s going to be the first to die. You’ll see.

Chapter 3

  • One of the tropes of crime fiction is the hero getting knocked in the head and passing out at the end of one chapter and then waking up in the next chapter, confused and in trouble, but physically none the worse for the wear. That’s not how concussions work, particularly if it’s a serious one. If you black out, it’s a serious concussion. I coach a couple of sports as a part of my teaching day job and part of that responsibility includes my having to take and pass an online concussion course at the start of every school year. Glad I could finally make use of all those classes by giving Eric a realistic concussion. I mean, of course, besides keeping my players safe and all that. • I have to admit I’m partial to Adventure Time but Steven Universe is a nice show. • If a novel is to have a thesis statement then this one has two. The last line of the novel is one and the following line is the other: “as though everyday people have nothing but love in their hearts and are always reasonable and have never committed atrocities in the name of their self-proclaimed everydayness.” • Masks of all sorts have been worn by slashers and would-be killers in many a horror movie. Those masks tend to lend the killer personality or character. I thought the featureless white masks that rubbed out the wearer’s identity would be creepy. • I spent a long time writing the different POVs of the sacrifice of Redmond. That was hard to write. • In January 2018—about a month after advance reader/review copies of CABIN had already been printed and sent out into the cold, cruel world—there was an earthquake off the coast of the Aleutians. I know, right? And parts of the Pacific Northwest were then put on a tsunami watch. I KNOW, RIGHT? Well, thankfully, no tsunami and everyone was okay. Later that afternoon I got an email from a more-than-kind-of-famous horror writer who’d already read the book. The email referenced the earthquake and ended with, “Quick, sacrifice someone!” Cooler heads prevailed. • Adriane tries turning on the yellow lamp so that means she’ll be next to die.

Chapter 4

  • The POV here is an odd (odd to me anyway) third person plural using both Andrew’s and Eric’s perspectives; a warm-up for the odder POV in the final chapter. • Maybe this is weird but I was really excited to write this nothing-really-happens part of the book. I thought that the remaining intruders cleaning up and then making dinner and sitting around chatting like everything was fine and okay could be a quietly disturbing scene. Not to bring you down, but I wanted to reflect our own day-to-day and the awful stuff we have to ignore (or at least forget about for a few hours) to be able to go about the business of living without going totally mad. Also, this might be the first time I’ve written characters having to use the bathroom. Felt like gritty realism to me. • Wen wakes up in the middle of the night, and yeah, I’m sorry, but she tries to turn on the yellow lamp, so that means…. • The name “Jeff O’Bannon” is a splicing of two politicians’ names together. • The Penalty Box is a real bar/place. • The story Andrew told Wen about how he got his scar is from my childhood. I was eight years old and playing in a neighborhood baseball game (unsupervised by adults, which is how it should be, despite what happened next). We were only using a tennis ball so I thought it would be okay to play catcher without a mask. Oops. One batter flung his bat back right into my head. I saw literal stars and then passed out briefly. There was lots of blood. And then there were eight stitches on the right side of my forehead. I will not age myself by telling you the year this occurred, but it was long ago enough that concussion was not part of any diagnosis or concern. My bell got rung, as they used to say. And hard. • “Targeted Individuals” or TI’s eschewing treatment and congregating online is a real, sad, and frightening thing. • Andrew’s escape from the cabin and the run to the SUV for a gun was the section of the book that took me the longest to write. My hope was to realistically stage the action (and set up the big and terrible end to the chapter) without losing the tone of what came before.

Chapter 5

  • One of my biggest concerns about the book’s construction relates to the transition here. I didn’t want Wen’s death to be the emotional climax of the book with another eighty or so pages still to go (and maybe it is, I don’t know…but at the very least I was fully aware of that potential issue). I thought switching to Leonard’s POV, even briefly, was important to keep the reader on unsteady footing while adjusting to Wen’s death. In my first draft this Leonard chapter was written in second person POV. I thought it might be a way to implicate the reader in the action and further prep the reader for the jarring POV in the final chapter. But I switched the POV from second to third because I didn’t want readers thinking I wanted them to sympathize with Leonard. • Leonard throws rope that knocks into the yellow lamp, so you know he’s next.

Chapter 6

  • Maybe the lesson learned here is to never trust young people wearing watches. • More odd POV switches here. I thought it was especially important to dip into Sabrina’s POV. I do not want readers sympathizing with the invaders. But I did think their experience was a horror worth exploring: the horror of feeling like you have no freedom and no choice. That’s a horror partly because abdicating personal responsibility is kind of attractive. Living without conscience, maintaining that you have no choice because of a set of beliefs, I imagine, could be quite intoxicating. That break with the social compact is terrifying to me. • I wanted to use a reference to some kind of drowned city event. Friend and writer Anthony Breznican told me about the collapse of the St. Francis Dam in Valencia, CA. Then he did one better and in April of 2017 he took me on a tour of the ruins, which are as described (to the best of my ability) in the novel. I tried to capture how eerie that walk through a past disaster felt. • After Sabrina kills Leonard, she tosses her staff away, and it knocks over the yellow lamp. She’s next.

Chapter 7

  • Andrew’s and Eric’s POV, presented as first person plural. We. Would it be too cheesy of me to say that we are Andrew and Eric by the end? • I originally intended to have a fourth epigraph at the start of the novel, quoting Samuel Beckett’s novel The Unnamable, but then I thought it would give away the end of my book. • When I conceived of Cabin and during the first quarter of its life in my head, I had a much bleaker ending in mind. But for a variety of reasons, I couldn’t do it and didn’t want to do it. I needed to go out on a note of defiant hope. The movie The Terminator, of all things, helped me reshape the end of the book. That movie ends with Sarah Connor/Linda Hamilton in the desert, fleeing south, and a boy takes the Polaroid picture the nice man from the future (the father of her son) would then carry around with him in the future and bring back with him to the past. She’s sad because he’s dead and sad because Skynet is going to blow up the world, but… But. She’s still a badass. And she’s still going to fight. That’s defiant hope. I could be petulant and say if you must admit you failed the book’s empathy test, feel free to add a line of your choosing to the end: “Then the world ended” or “Then the world didn’t end.” But I won’t be petulant. My defiant hope for you is that this book ultimately becomes about the choice Eric and Andrew make and not whether or not the world is actually ending. I mean, shit, their world has already been definitively shattered, don’t you think? The book is about the choice: do they and do we choose fear or that most defiant of all hopes, love?


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Adam Troy Castro penned a wonderful review that addresses the novel’s why and ending without really spoiling either.


“The Question Worth Answering

The Cabin at the End of the WorldMany, many years ago, your devoted servant was more obviously still learning this sometimes-disreputable craft (he still is, hopes never to stop, and avers that any writer who says otherwise is likely not worth reading). A workshop participant provided him with the following comment, written in red Bic Pen in the margin of his current horror story (one that eventually got published, despite being not very good), beside a gratuitous, but particularly loving description of shotgun-scattered brain matter slowly sliding down a tenement wall.

She wrote, “Is this trip necessary?””

continue reading here

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The Big England Trip/Tour of summer 2018.

*long post warning*. This is going to be long. Did you see the warning, there? I think I made myself clear.

The short version is that I had an amazing/wonderful time, and I was treated far too well. I’ll attempt to make this quite detailed and apologies beforehand for leaving some of the wonderful people I met out below. I’m quite jet lagged (and we’ll agree to blame any misspellings or typos on that the lag too, okay?) at the writing of this. If this reads as name-droppy, well, you’ll have to deal with it.

Friday (arrival) and Saturday Edge Lit:

I left at 6pm Thursday night and landed, with the magic of time zones (no magic: I did not sleep for more than a few minutes on the plane), at 8:30 am Friday morning at Gatwick airport. The customs agent was friendly though laughed manically in the course of our brief interview when asked what kind of books I wrote. With help from people in orange vests who tolerated my travel patheticness, I ventured from Gatwick to Victoria Station, then a quick tube ride to St. Pancras station where I met my editor and head publicist at Titan Books, Gary Budden and Lydia Gittins. Gary and Lydia are, quite simply, the best. You might be tied with them, maybe, but not better. I think Lydia might have been a bit weary upon first meeting me and seeing who or what it was exactly she was going to have to keep alive in England. I won’t spoil the ending as to whether she succeeded or not.

After my first of many meals with eggs and mushrooms, the three of us jumped on a train to Derby for the Edge Lit convention, run by Alex Davis, another very kind man; the one responsible for my plane ticket and the start of this tour.

I checked into my hotel to take a nap for a few hours (mainly because I’d been up for about 30 hours straight). The electricity in my room didn’t work and no phone to call the front desk, but I was too tired to care. Upon waking, washing up in the dark was difficult but I sally forthed. Or something. (Yes, Gary and Lydia later informed me of a card slot on the wall in which tired people are supposed to place their hotel room key card. For the rest of the week, I enjoyed the thrill of being responsible for my own electricity). Post-nap, we hit a pub built in 1590. Humans in 1590 were not my height apparently and I met some more folks including Paul Kane (who I’d known online for a while) and Marie O’Regan, editor of a forthcoming Titan anthology and she interviewed me at Edge Lit. From there, my first proper British curry restaurant. It turned out to be the only time I had curry the whole week!

Saturday I was busy at the convention participating in two panels, a workshop, and a guest of honor interview. Everyone was very accommodating and friendly. Squeezed between the festivities was lunch with Craig Wallwork (author of The Sound of Loneliness), a friend I’ve known online for quite some time. Wonderful to meet him in person. After the hard work of conventioning, Gary, Lydia and I had a nice dinner followed by a night out at the pub. Highlights including hanging out with and chatting to Priya Sharma and Georgina Bruce, and the lowlight was the monkey-on-the-advert beer I talked Gary into drinking with me. Again, we sally forthed.

Sunday/Monday Lydia and I arrived in Newcastle about mid-afternoon. I was able to properly turn on the electricity in my hotel room, so I had that going for me. We took a quick jaunt east to South Shields where my maternal grandmother was born (Vera died when my mother was 14 so I never knew her). A visit to ancestral land! It was a cool little beach town with ruins, lighthouses, sand, water, a carnival, and a row of curry restaurants followed by a row of Italian restaurants. We chose the middle eastern one in between.

Monday Lydia and I explored Newcastle and we were treated to a proper British downpour. I would’ve been disappointed if I didn’t get any rain on the trip. We went to the Newcastle football club stadium so I could pick up a few gifts, then a museum, and thanks to a suggestion from a kind follower on Twitter, we found the vampire rabbit of Amen Corner. No, really. Picture included below. Then, despite a friend’s protests that it was a very small castle, we went to the Newcastle castle. That’s a lot of castle in one sentence. Despite it’s apparent lack of size, I thought it was fascinating. And I only hit my head once.

That night, Mark Morris interviewed me at Waterstones. We had a nice crowd and only “northern” accent that was impenetrable to me belonged to a nice young woman with a  Geordie accent, and we had an existential disagreement over the pronunciation of the letter ‘a’.  Post event I had a lovely dinner and conversation with Mark, Lydia, Neil Snowdon, and Stephen Laws. We talked Quatermass, food, books, movies, and had a wonderful evening. This night marked one of the only times I was yelled at, as I used the wrong bathroom (it was a baby changing station, apparently. I mean, I didn’t pee on the baby changing station, there was a fully functional toilet in the room. I’m not a complete monster).



Newcastle to Liverpool, not the most direct train route. Lydia expertly navigated us through three or four stops (including one fun get off the train, whoops get back on the train before the doors close on our faces). I hope I don’t sound too touristy, but this pry-my-car-from-my-cold-dead-hands American really enjoyed the rail travel and the scenic countryside.

Of all the cities visited, we had the least time to trek around Liverpool because of our arrival time, but what I saw (mostly docks, Albert Dock, I believe) was nice.

Pre-Waterstones event Lydia and I shared tea/water with the wildly talented and awesome Priya Sharma and then Priya and I wandered around the store, pointing out each others favorite reads. Lydia expertly lead the book discussion and Q&A during the event. A nice moment in the signing line was the arrival of a young woman who had just minutes before graduated from University. She ran down from the ceremony to the bookstore just to get Cabin signed. How cool is that?

Post-Waterstones horror luminary Ramsey Campbell and his wife Jenny graciously treated us to dinner at a tapas restaurant. Another truly wonderful night, if not a bit mischievous as Ramsey repeatedly beat me in a numbers game called ‘nim,’ and exposed my lack of guess-the-movie-this-line-is-from knowledge when it comes to Hitchcock films. I had my revenge by telling the table about the three times I’ve swallowed live goldfish. Debonair, I am.


Up and out early on a train(s) to Bristol. The blue city (cabs were blue, they make Bristol blue glass as well) was beautiful. I was totally taken and would love to go back to explore more.

We had a bit more time to explore old town, the river walkways, and even a grassy park. At the park Adam Nevill appeared, or apparated. We dodged bicycles and had a brief chat before agreeing to meet at a pub before our Foyles bookstore event. Then Adam disapparated. He needs to show me that trick.

Pre-event and and during the event Adam, Lydia, and I had a long conversation and publishing and horror. I’m a big admirer of Adam’s work and it was a real treat to get to spend some time in the real world with him.

Post-event we (Gareth Powell, Damien Sayell (he of the band The St. Pierre Snake Invasion), Tim and Tracy Lebbon, Adam, Lydia, me) attempted dinner at a pub that claimed to be still serving food. That claim lasted as long as it took to order drinks. I was then treated to a traditional dinner of ale and crisps. Worked for me. Again, another fabulous evening. And maybe it was the ale and not enough crisps but I found Damien’s story behind the name of his band was more than little moving.

The night ended with Lydia and I managing to pry some room service down to the hotel lobby at 11:45. The ham and cheese sandwich did the job, though I think it was why I had crazy Bristol nightmares that night. Getting a text at 4 am from my math department head about my upcoming academic year schedule only added to the nightmare fuel.


London! The trip up from Bristol was a straight shot and relatively short. The cab ride from the station to the hotel room might’ve been longer… But we made it and after a dash in the tube, Lydia left me in the capable hands of Andrew Falkous and Julia Ruzicka (2/3rds of one of my favorite bands, Future of the Left). We had a quick lunch and then Andy and I speed walked through central London seeing almost all of the big sites, but no, we did not see the Jeff Goldblum statue. Alas.

Responsible-for-my-conduct host that Andy is, he brought me back in time to a busy pub close to the event at Blackwells. We reconnected with Lydia, Gary, and a whole bunch more of the Titan Books crew. The event itself was bittersweet as it was my last one for the week, but I had a really enjoyable conversation with Jason Arnopp.

After the event was a lot of fun in the darkest of all pubs. There were many laughs, a story about a guy blowing up his friend’s car on purpose, and Titan Books gave me a going away present/care-package including a whistle (bunch of whistle blowing chaps in England, there are) which brought me to ugly American tears, at least it did on the inside.

The next morning Lydia and I went to Forbidden Planet where I signed a whole slew of books, and then before I knew it the week was over and I was in the airport waiting for my delayed plane.

Thank you everyone who came out to say hi, buy a book, or have a drink this week. Special thanks to Alex Davis for flying me out and having me as guest at Edge Lit. Super special thanks to Gary Budden for being a great guy and the editor with the best taste in music in the biz (sorry again about that Last Mango in Paris ale). And Superest Specialest thanks to Lydia Gittins for being so patient and kind in getting me from place to place while indulging in my touristy whims. Team Titan Books forever.

I can’t wait to go back.

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It’s been busy and fun release week. Some online highlights! (I’ll add to these in the coming days)

–A feature at

Horror novelist Paul Tremblay is venturing down a road that’s going nowhere fast.

It’s a thread of sun-baked asphalt that runs from the suburban sprawl of Santa Clarita, Calif., into the hushed slopes of the Angeles National Forest, weaving alongside a dry creek bed that is leading us to the site of long-ago death and destruction.

–Podcast on The Horror Show with Brian Keene


GQ: This F***ed Me Up: The Cabin at the End of the World. “Paul Tremblay’s new novel is equal parts gripping, horrifying, and mesmerizing.”

LitReactor: The Cabin at the End of the World is meaningful and inevitable and absolutely heartbreaking. It’s a remarkable achievement and certainly Tremblay’s most challenging book. It very well could be his best, too.”

Barnes and Nobles: “Under Tremblay’s skilled hand, the narrative turns from dark and intense to cerebral, a tour de force of psychological and religious horror. To twist the old adage, it asks, why do people do bad things to good people?”

Criminal Element: The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay is a masterpiece of terror and psychological suspense that adds an inventive twist to the home invasion horror story.”

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Wonderful gif art of Disappearance at Devil’s Rock and A Head Full of Ghosts

These are beautiful. And creepy!

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Stephen King tweets about THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD

Stephen is a very nice person. Thank you, Stephen. Apparently my phone needs charging too.



You don’t need to mess with a calendar if you pre-order the book here or here or here.



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ANTOHER WAY TO FALL: a free book featuring novellas from Brian Evenson and me.

Free? Yes, free, as long as you are willing to make a donation to a charity/cause of your choice. You can email Concord Free Press to request a copy (shipping is free too) here.

We publish free books that inspire generosity. All we ask is that you donate any amount to a charity or someone in need, and tell us about it. Then pass your book along so others can give. Our books have inspired $1 million+ in generosity.

Another+Way+to+Fall+Cover+Final (1)

Book description from the publisher:

Drop into the fascinating, hallucinatory world of Another Way to Fall, the dark brainchild of Brian Evenson and Paul Tremblay. Evenson’s Baby Leg and Tremblay’s The Harlequin and the Train appeared in limited editions that are largely unavailable. Now Another Way to Fall brings these fantastic, award-winning writers together—and puts these haunting novels in the eager hands of new (and generous) readers.

In Baby Leg, a mysterious man awakes one morning in an isolated cabin with no memory of how he’s gotten there—or why he’s missing a hand. The book has been described as “the kind of thing that might have happened if David Goodis and Jim Thompson tried to write a mad scientist story in the middle of a bender.”

Powerful and profoundly eerie, Tremblay’s The Harlequin and the Train spins the surreal tale of a young train engineer, a commuter train accident, and its disturbing aftermath. As novelist Laird Barron put it, Tremblay “pierces the veil of prosaic suburban life to reveal its dark heart.”

Brian Evenson is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection A Collapse of Horses and the novella The Warren

Paul Tremblay is the author of seven novels including Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, A Head Full of Ghosts, The Little Sleep, and the forthcoming The Cabin at the End of the World. 

Brief self interview:

Q: Wait, is the book really free? Is this legit? Will I be spammed by CEOs and royalty from a variety of countries looking for money if I email CFP asking for a copy?

A: Yes. Yes. No.


A: It’s a novella (or short novel depending upon your definition) that was initially published in 2009 by Jeffrey Thomas’s Necropolitan Press. It’s dark and strange and will make you feel icky, but hopefully in the good way. “The Harlequin and the Train” was originally a short story (4600 words, give or take) that appeared in my first fiction collection (Compositions for the Young and Old). I wrote an on spec screenplay for the story, which didn’t really work. But I liked what I added to it, so I took the screenplay and re-wrote it as a novella.

Q: Are there clowns?

A: Kind of. But they are motionless and don’t wear any red, or big noses, or big shoes. Really it’s the shoes you are afraid of.

Q: Is this version of the novella different than the Necropolitan Press version?

A: Only cosmetically (some typos and snytax cleaned up). The original novella asked that readers highlight certain grey-ed out words yellow (the pretentious-me thinking it was an even better way to implicate the reader in the awfulness going on in the story and going on around them) and the few people (hi, Mom!) who read it were confused and looked for secret meanings in combining the highlighted words, which was kind of cool for me but more likely annoying for readers, so no grey-ed out words and no highlighting required this time around.

Q: What’s in it for you, Tremblay? You must be getting something out of this. Nothing is free. NOTHING!

I get to share a book with a friend and amazing writer in Brian Evenson. His novella “Baby Leg” is weird and brilliant, like all of Brian’s work. (See a review I wrote for his novel Immobility here.)

I get to work with friend and amazing writer Stona Finch and the fine folk at Concord Free Press.

While I’ll be the first to admit that The Harlequin and the Train might read like an early work at times, I still dig it, and I still dig its energy, and now the story is back in print (in a beautiful form) and ready to be sucked up by many more eyeballs. (Ew!).

The idea of a somewhat heavy-handed (which is okay sometimes, I think) anti-consumerism story being published for free and inspiring donations to charities and causes feels like I’m putting my money where my mouth is (no pun intended; a pun you’ll only get after you read the book).

Go order a copy for free. Now don’t say I’ve never given you anything.

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Favorite reads of 2017

Books continued to be neat in 2017. (I squeezed in some extra reads this year by listening to audio books while walking the dog. It’s all about time-management, people!) Let’s not waste time and get right to the categories.


Thing We Lost in the Fire, Marina Enriquez. This collection was a revelation. Dark, smart, sociopolitical, enthralling, Shirley Jackson-esque in feel.

The Changeling, Victor LaValle. A brilliant mash up of parental anxieties (there’s a scene toward the beginning of the novel that is as intense and uncomfortable yet recognizable as any scene I’ve read), life in Trumplandia, and dark fairy tales.

Ill Will, Dan Chaon. A maddening and magnificent puzzle-box of a novel.

She Said Destroy, Nadia Bulkin. The second collection to crack the top 5. More sociopolitical horror that challenges (and disturbs) without ever being didactic.

Mapping the Interior, Stephen Graham Jones. When I first heard that would be publishing novellas, I was skeptical. (Why? Why answer in a parenthetical? I’m afraid of new things?) But their books are unflaggingly daring and compelling. Jones’s has been my favorite of the stellar bunch. A very personal story that manages to crawl inside the reader and take root.


Mandelbrot the Magnificent by Liz Ziemska, Running by Cara Hoffman, The World to Come by Jim Shepard, The Night Ocean by Paul LaFarge, Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson, Devil’s Day by Andrew Michael Hurley, Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan, Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix.


The Hike, Drew Magary


Roughneck by Jeff Lemire


2666 by Roberto Bolano, Full Dark No Stars by Stephen King, Dead Mountain: The Untold Story of the Diatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar, The North Water by Ian McGuire, The Handmaiden’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

There ya go. There were many more very good books read and you can check out my Goodreads page for the full accounting.


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THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD cover reveal and excerpt at Entertainment

Follow the link, kind blog readers.

“Now, the cover reveal for his new novel The Cabin at the End of the World shows us a skewed wooded landscape with a small shack at the bottom, angled so steeply it’s ready to flip upside down.

Today, EW presents not just the new image, but an extended excerpt from the book, which hits shelves June 26, 2018.”

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