Long December

Long December

Illustration By Edward Miller

Dust jacket illustration by Edward Miller.

“Powerful…I love it...Richard Chizmar writes clean, no-nonsense prose...sets his tales in no-nonsense, middle class neighborhoods I can relate to...and writes terrific stories served with a very large slice of Disquiet Pie.”

Stephen King

“Chizmar's stories are hard-hitting, spooky, suspenseful, poignant, harrowing, heartbreaking and most of all very well-written. Excellent work!”

-- Robert McCammon

In 1996, Richard Chizmar’s debut short story collection, Midnight Promises, was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award. Publishers Weekly called it “a sterling collection” while singling out “The Silence of Sorrow” as “an understated masterpiece.”

Two years later, Subterranean Press published a mini-collection from Chizmar entitled Monsters and Other Stories. In his introduction, acclaimed genre critic Edward Bryant said, “When all is said and done, this book should leave you in utter silence, giving you time and opportunity to contemplate what you just read. Tough storytelling from a tough writer; but a writer who is not calloused. Chizmar possesses a finely honed gift of empathy. With utter grace and loving kindness he’ll put you right inside the life (and soul) of the monster.”

Now, nearly two decades later, Chizmar assembles thirty-five stories, including a previously-unpublished novella, and presents us with A Long December. This massive new collection features more than 150,000 words of Chizmar’s very best short fiction and includes 8,000 words of autobiographical Story Notes.

Eerie, suspenseful, poignant, the stories in A Long December range from horror to suspense, crime to dark fantasy, mainstream to mystery.

As New York Times bestselling author Scott Smith (A Simple Plan, The Ruins) notes: “It’s an idyllic little world Richard Chizmar has created. Boys fish in the shallows of a winding creek. A father tosses a baseball with his young son in the fading light of a summer day. There’s the smell of fresh-cut grass. And then, well…just beneath the surface? There are those missing pets whose collars turn up in a shoebox. Or the disturbing photos the dead can leave behind. Or the terrible thing you might find yourself doing when a long lost brother suddenly returns, demanding money. Chizmar does a tremendous job of peeling back his world’s shiny layers, revealing the rot that lies underneath. His stories feel like so many teeth: short and sharp and ready to draw blood.”

Limited: 1500 signed numbered hardcover copies

Table of Contents:

  • Blood Brothers
  • The Man with X-Ray Eyes
  • The Box
  • Heroes
  • Ditch Treasures
  • The Silence of Sorrow
  • After the Bombs
  • Last Words
  • Night Call
  • The Lake is Life
  • The Good Old Days
  • Grand Finale
  • The Artist
  • Family Ties
  • Mister Parker
  • Monsters
  • Like Father, Like Son
  • The Tower
  • Brothers
  • Cemetery Dance
  • Blue
  • A Crime of Passion
  • Homesick
  • Devil’s Night
  • Bride of Frankenstein: A Love Story
  • The Season of Giving
  • A Capital Cat Crime
  • The Sinner King
  • A Season of Change
  • Midnight Promises
  • The Night Shift
  • Only the Strong Survive
  • The Interview
  • The Poetry of Life
  • A Long December
  • Story Notes

From Peter Straub:

“...a writer of great accomplishment. His work, always effective, is notable for its clarity and originality of concept. Chizmar has a great gift for the sinister.”

From Kelley Armstrong:

“Chilling and thought-provoking tales that quietly uncover horror in the most ordinary of lives.”

Edward Miller
Richard T. Chizmar
520 pages
United States
Out of Print