Ash-Tree Press
P.O. Box 1360, Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada V0K 1A0
Tel: (250) 453-2045; Fax: (250) 453-2075



by Chet Williamson
with an Introduction
by Joe R. Lansdale                                                        

World Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Collection 2003

ISBN: 1-55310-039-5; xii + 320pp
Published 29 July 2002

Price: Cdn$60.00 / US$46.50 / 29.00 (Postage Code B)

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.

Jacket painting is by Paul Lowe; Limited to 500 copies.

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