Figures in RainFigures in Rain
by Chet Williamson, with an Introduction by Joe R. Lansdale

World Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Collection 2003

Dust jacket by Paul Lowe

Limited Edition Hardcover - $40.00
Fine in fine dj; new and unread, direct from the publisher

ISBN: 1-55310-039-5

Ash-Tree Press, 2002; 320 pp; limited to 500 copies

In 1981, Chet Williamson's first professionally published story, 'Offices', appeared in the magazine Twilight Zone; and unbeknownst to many, a major talent had been unleashed in the world of supernatural fiction. Much of Williamson's subsequent work was to be in the field of the weird and uneasy tale, and acknowledged the debt owed to such past masters as Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, and M. R. James, while managing to retain its own very distinctive style: the style of one who was not content to write the same story over and over, but that of a writer who was compelled to seek out new styles, new experiences, new ways of making a reader shiver with dread. As Joe R. Lansdale writes in his introduction to this volume, 'Most successful writers do just that. Repeat themselves. They do this because, sadly, most readers want it. . . . This book is not for that kind of reader.'

Figures in Rain is the first collection of Chet Williamson's tales of the uneasy, the macabre, and the horrific. In these twenty-seven stories - two of which have been specially written for this volume - Williamson explores the sometimes tragic, sometimes horrifying, always fascinating world of dark terrors that exists alongside our own, more mundane, world. When the two worlds overlap, the result can be terror, pain, confusion, and heartache; but it can also be forgiveness, understanding, hope, and even love. No two Chet Williamson stories are alike; and the characters who inhabit them are all too recognisable as living, breathing people who sometimes stumble across the boundary between our existence and that of something darker, and who do not always have the tools to cope with what they find there.

'Which stories do I recommend?' asks Lansdale in his introduction. 'All of them. Chet doesn't write bad stories. . . . So find a nice comfy spot. . . . It would be nice if, just by coincidence, it were raining outside. Maybe a roll of thunder and a flash of lightning now and then. And if there's no rain, no lightning and thunder, it won't matter. Chet will get you anyway.

CONTENTS:
Preface
Introduction by Joe R. Lansdale
Offices
A Lover's Alibi
Lares & Penates
I'll Drown My Book
Prometheus's Ghost
Miss Tuck and the Gingerbread Boy
The Music of the Dark Time
Return of the Neon Fireball
The House of Fear
Blue Notes
O Come Little Children
Other Errors, Other Times
Ex-Library
Jabbie Welsh
The Cairnwell Horror
His Two Wives
From the Papers of Helmut Hecker
The Bookman
A Father's Dream
Coventry Carol
A Place where a Head Would Rest
The Blood-Red Sea
Excerpts from the Records of the New Zodiac and the Diaries of Henry Watson Fairfax
A Collector of Magic
Subtle Knowing
Figures in Rain
Sundowners
Story Notes and Sources

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