Plots and Misadventures

Plots and Misadventures

Illustration By Edward Miller

Dust jacket by Edward Miller

"If the truth be told the short story is probably the superior form, because there's no getting away with anything. You get it exactly right or it doesn't work at all."

Eleven flights of fancy and one true story... but it can be hard to say where fancy ends and the truth begins.

In this, his second collection of short fiction, award-winning author and screenwriter Stephen Gallagher delivers his unique take on the weird, the wonderful and the downright strange. These are tales in which the world is very much as we know it, but charged with a sense of the wonders that lie in wait just beneath the surface of our everyday reality.

Grisly goings-on in a tattoo parlour...
A bereaved girl's poetic revenge...
Hunting fairies with pickup truck and cattle prod...

Along with The Blackwood Oak, a novella making its first appearance between these covers, the stories have been drawn together from sources as diverse as Weird Tales, Subterranean, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Winter Chills, and The Dark.

"I suppose I'm aiming for a bittersweet resonance, a kind of optimistic tristesse. That's the fundamental, constant note that I hear from the universe when I manage to screen out everything else, and it's what I try to share when I write. Life is sweet, everyone matters, and everything dies.
Nothing in art plays better than melancholia; hence the sunset, the adagio, the torch song, the blues, the big-eyed weeping kitten."

Limited: 750 signed numbered copies

Table of Contents:

  • Little Dead Girl Singing
  • The Back of His Hand
  • Restraint
  • The Plot
  • Doctor Hood
  • Jailbird for Jesus
  • Hunter, Killer
  • My Repeater
  • The Wishing Ball
  • Like Clockwork
  • The Blackwood Oak

From Publishers Weekly:
"Veteran British horror writer Gallagher (The Kingdom of Bones) shows off his versatility in this collection of 11 stories and a review of Joseph Payne Brennan's Nine Horrors and a Dream. Among the best are 'The Back of His Hand,' a shocking description of the unexpected dangers involved in tattoo removal; 'Doctor Hood,' a touching ghost story concerning a world-famous physicist, his daughter and the recently deceased loved one haunting their family home; and 'My Repeater,' a grim science fiction story about the fruitlessness of using time travel to correct one's past errors. Capable of being either subtle or blunt depending upon the needs of his plot, Gallagher has assembled a fine and varied collection of weird fiction that should find many admirers."

Edward Miller
Stephen Gallagher
260 pages
United States
Subterranean Press
Out of Print