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Uncanny as a Ventriloquist’s Doll: Nothing is Everything by Simon Strantzas

Monday, September 17th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

Nothing is Everything Simon Strantzas hc-small Nothing is Everything Simon Strantzas hc-back-small

Art by Aron Wiesenfeld

In 2014 I wasn’t familiar with the work of Simon Strantzas, but I bought his collection Burnt Black Suns mostly on the reputation of its lead story “On Ice,” a grim novella of arctic horror. By 2018, however, Simon is the one with the reputation, and it’s growing steadily with every story.

His new collection Nothing is Everything, on sale in hardcover and trade paperback from Michael Kelly’s Undertow Press next month, has already drawn a lot of attention. Kij Johnson says “Simon Strantzas is Shirley Jackson-grade eerie,” and Camilla Grudova, author of The Doll’s Alphabet, says:

Simon Strantzas captures the creepiness of small town Ontario; there is something of Seth, of Alice Munro in his work, wonderfully tangled with the likes of Aickman and Jackson. Uncanny as a ventriloquist’s doll, but with a real, beating heart.

Undertow is simultaneously releasing hardcover and trade paperback editions with different covers. Both are very fine, but the hardcover, with art by Aron Wiesenfeld (above), is particularly arresting. The trade paperback (below) features art by Tran Nguyen. Both were designed by Vince Haig.

[Click the images for bigger versions.]

Nothing is Everything Simon Strantzas-small Nothing is Everything Simon Strantzas-back-small

Art by Tran Nguyen

Nothing is Everything features five stories original to this volume. Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

“In This Twilight” (new)
“Our Town’s Talent” (new)
“These Last Embers”
“The Flower Unfolds”
“Ghost Dogs” (new)
“In the Tall Grass”
“The Fifth Stone”
“The Terrific Mr. Toucan” (new)
“Alexandra Lost”
“All Reality Blossoms in Flames” (new)

Undertow is one of the finest small press publishers at work today. They’ve produced books by Sunny Moraine, Priya Sharma, Eric Schaller, Conrad Williams, Mike O’Driscoll, D.P. Watt, V.H. Leslie, and others. Their previous titles include:

Alien Rats, Apocalyptic Nightmares, and a Horror Worse Than Ghosts: Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume One, reviewed by James McGlothlin
Year’s Best Weird Fiction Volume Two, edited by Kathe Koja
Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume Three, edited by Simon Strantzas and Michael Kelly
The Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume Four, edited by Helen Marshall and Michael Kelly
Shadows and Tall Trees 7 edited by Michael Kelly
Almost Insentient, Almost Divine by D P Watt
Skein and Bone by V.H. Leslie
Aickman’s Heirs edited by Simon Strantzas
All the Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma

Nothing is Everything will be published by Undertow Publications on October 16, 2018. It is 274 pages, priced at $35 in hardcover, $25 in trade paperback, and $4.99 for the digital edition. Read more at the Undertow website.

See all our recent New Treasures here.

2 Comments »

  1. Ooh, I love that Wiesenfeld cover.

    Comment by Jeff Stehman - September 18, 2018 6:31 pm

  2. It is gorgeous

    Comment by John ONeill - September 19, 2018 10:46 pm


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