Monstrous Affections

Paperback | November 15, 2009

byDavid Nickle

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Black Quill Award Winner, Best Dark Genre Collection (2010) A young bride and her future motherinlaw 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?

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Black Quill Award Winner, Best Dark Genre Collection (2010) A young bride and her future motherinlaw 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?

David Nickle is a Torontobased author and journalist whose fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies like CEMETERY DANCE, THE YEAR'S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR, the Northern Frights series and the Queer Fear series. Some of it has been collected in his book of stories, MONSTROUS AFFECTIONS. His first solo novel, EUROPIA: A NOVEL OF TERRIBLE OPTIMISM, led the NATIONAL POST to call him "a worthy heir to the mantle...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 8.42 × 5.6 × 0.82 inPublished:November 15, 2009Publisher:ChiZineLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0981297838

ISBN - 13:9780981297835

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful creepy short story collection Pros: variety of stories, different lengths and wildly different subject matters, though provoking, unsettling Cons: several stories require some thought to understand, with one being beyond my comprehension This is a great collection of horror stories. There's variety in length and subject matter, with most having horrifying twist endings of some sort that make you rethink what you believed was happening in the story. Mr. Nickle brings in different mythologies, which was fun. And they all deal with affection in one way or another, most regarding family and a few with other topics. There were only two stories I didn't like and in one case that was because I didn't quite understand the ending. With a few other stories it took some thought to realize their brilliance, which I did like. Mr. Nickle uses your natural assumptions against you. For example, you assume Janie in "Janie and the Wind" is a victim. Turns out that's not entirely the case. My review code for short stories is ^^ for 2 thumbs, ^ thumbs up, v thumb down) ^^ "The Sloan Men" - Judith visits her boyfriend's parents and discovers the man she loves is not WHAT she remembers him as. A very unsettling story. ^ "Janie and the Wind" - Janie's husband gives her a beating and leaves her stranded without food on a small island in Georgian Bay. A storm's coming and she's hungry. I found it a little long and rather strange. Great twist ending. ^^ "Night of the Tar Baby" - A father recently released from prison takes his two kids out to make a tar baby. He uses the creature to teach those around him about anger management. Another unsettling story, told from the young daughter's POV. ^ "Other People's Kids" - A rest stop lunch break turns weird when 13 year old Sam spots a kid with really sharp teeth. A strange tale about growing up and leaving childhood behind. Sam makes some interesting choices. ^^ "The Mayor Will Make a Brief Statement and Then Take Questions" - The mayor speaks of the city's grief over the murder of a young boy. Surprisingly short and deeply profound - after a bit of thought. ^ "The Pit-Heads" - Four painters make a terrifying deal to improve their craft. An interesting take on vampires. Mr. Nickle's father, a painter, has done some paintings for the story. You can read the story with the paintings online (under a creative commons license). I managed to see the paintings just before reading this story, and they do make it come to life. v "The Slide Trombone" - Three musicians at a cottage wonder how they knew to pick up the 4th, a trombone player whom none of them had met before. I found this story confusing. ^^ "The Inevitability of Earth" - A man tries to find his grandfather to learn the secret of human flight. Unsettling with a very creepy ending. ^ "Swamp With and the Tea-drinking Man" - A swamp witch is in for a very bad day, filled with regrets. Another story that took some thought to figure out. v "The Delilah Party" - An autistic teen accompanies some internet friends to a small party. Deeply unsettling. ^^ "Fly in Your Eye" - Discusses a rather creepy medical condition. Another very short and extremely creepy story. ^ "Polyphemus' Cave" - A man returning home for his estranged father's funeral sees a cyclops and hears an odd circus tale. Originally published in Queer Fear 2, this is another unsettling story, about what horrifying things can happen in families when one person doesn't act the way other members would like them to. ^ "The Webley" - Two boys make up after a fight to deal with a threatening dog. A look at how children act and their cruelties to one another. It's a strong collection of thought provoking horror stories. I look forward to reading his novel, Eutopia, out this May.
Date published: 2011-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from As unsettling as its cover Dave Nickle knows that the human mind is usually just a couple of steps away from madness and perversion. His style of writing takes you inside this unsettling realm. What really makes your skin crawl is his way of imbuing his characters with a sense of arcane logic that justifies all manner of obsession, violence and psychological dysfunction. Oh what a ride!
Date published: 2009-09-23

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
The Geniality of Monsters Introduction by Michael Rowe
The Sloan Men
Janie and the Wind
Night of the Tar Baby
Other People's Kids
The Mayor Will Make A Brief Statement and then Take Questions
The Pit-Heads
Slide Trombone
The Inevitability of Earth
Swamp Witch and the Tea-Drinking Man
The Delilah Party
Fly in your Eye
Polyphemus' Cave
The Webley

Advanced/Review Quotes:

David Nickle writes ’em damned weird and damned good and damned dark. He is bourbon-rough, poetic and vivid. Don't miss this one.

—Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother

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Monstrous Affections David Nickle. ChiZine (LPG of Canada, dist.), $18.95 paper (292p) ISBN 978-0-9812978-3-5

[STARRED REVIEW] Bleak, stark and creepy, Stoker-winner Nickle's first collection will delight the literary horror reader. A jarring cover illustration by Erik Mohr prepares the reader for 13 terrifying tales of rural settings, complex and reticent characters and unexpected twists that question the fundamentals of reality. All are delivered with a certain grace, creating a sparse yet poetic tour of the horrors that exist just out of sight. Standout stories include “Janie and the Wind,” where a battered, abandoned woman does what she needs to survive; “Other People's Kids,” a disturbing examination of the razor-thin moment dividing childhood from maturity and the hand holding that razor; and “The Pit Heads,” a phenomenal story about the cold remnants of a Canadian mining town and the true cost of beauty. This ambitious collection firmly establishes Nickle as a writer to watch. (Nov.)

Publisher's Weekly (September 28, 2009)