Apr 21, 2010

Covering Covers: Occultation and Other Stories - Laird Barron

Laird Barron's 2nd collection, Occultation, comes out this spring from Night Shade Books. Here's the cover.

Cover Artist: Matthew Jaffe
Cover Design: Claudia Noble

I'm somewhat of a horror novice but from what I've read Laird Barron qualifies as a genre up and comer. Whoever wrote Occultation's blurb agrees:

Laird Barron has emerged as one of the strongest voices in modern horror and dark fantasy fiction, building on the eldritch tradition pioneered by writers such as H. P. Lovecraft, Peter Straub, and Thomas Ligotti. His stories have garnered critical acclaim and been reprinted in numerous year's best anthologies and nominated for multiple awards, including the Crawford, International Horror Guild, Shirley Jackson, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Awards. His debut collection, The Imago Sequence and Other Stories, was the inaugural winner of the Shirley Jackson Award.

He returns with his second collection, Occultation. Pitting ordinary men and women against a carnivorous, chaotic cosmos, Occultation's eight tales of terror (two never before published) include the Theodore Sturgeon and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated story "The Forest" and Shirley Jackson Award nominee "The Lagerstatte." Featuring an introduction by Michael Shea, Occultation brings more of the spine-chillingly sublime cosmic horror Laird Barron's fans have come to expect.
  • Introduction by Michael Shea
  • The Forest
  • Occultation
  • The Lagerstatte
  • Mysterium Tremendum (original to this collection)
  • Catch Hell
  • Strappado
  • The Broadsword
  • --30-- (original to this collection) (edited by author)
I actually like the cover to Barron's first collection, The Imago Sequence and Other Stories, more, mostly because covers with naked people tend to produce strange looks on the CTA buses. Not as many as actual naked people but I've got a reputation to uphold. Besides the random nudity, the cover is decent enough although I'm not sure how well it targets the intended audience. On the other hand, I don't know who the audience is for horror themed short fiction collections and what that audience reacts to. Does that reader base even go into brick and mortar stores looking for new collections? Those questions aside I'm still very excited for this collection despite my reservations with the nudity of the cover.

Occultation is scheduled to hit shelves on May 15th, 2010.

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