Illustration By Michael Fusco

Dust jacket by Michael Fusco

“What Subterranean Press will be publishing is an earlier state of the novel now called A Dark Matter, not merely the limited version of the trade edition. I wish to have it preserved and published in this form as well as the final, many-times-re-edited form to indicate what I hoped its shape would be like. This is a much looser, sloppier, more wild-eyed version of the book, with blind alleys, red herrings, and false trails.” -- Peter Straub


In the fall of 1966, a group of students, led by a charismatic wanderer named Spencer Mallon, meet in a deserted field outside of Madison, Wisconsin. Their purpose: to conduct an “experiment” that will, if successful, alter the nature of reality itself. The outcome of that experiment is astonishing and inexplicable, and will affect the destinies of everyone involved in fundamental ways.

The Skylark remains the clearest expression of the author’s original intentions. With precision, delicacy, and great narrative power, it traces the endless reverberations of a single catastrophic event. In the process, it takes us deep into the lives of a diverse group of fully realized characters, among them a thief, a killer, a best-selling novelist, and a magnetic, luminously beautiful blind woman--the skylark of the title. The result is both a visionary novel about the mystery and terror that lie beneath the surface of the visible world and a moving account of believable people struggling to come to terms with the defining moments of their lives. Moving effortlessly, and with great authority, between the past and the present, the magical and the mundane, The Skylark is the kind of intense, wholly absorbing reading experience that only Peter Straub could have created.

The Subterranean Press edition of The Skylark is approximately 200 manuscript pages longer than the trade edition, to be published as A Dark Matter.

Limited: 500 numbered copies, signed by author
Lettered: 26 copies, deluxe bound, signed by author, housed in a custom traycase

From Locus:
“As regards the differences between the two versions of the novel, The Skylark provides a more detailed linear account of events leading up to the event in the agronomy meadow, and fuller backstory for the characters… The publication of the two together constitutes a major event in horror publishing this early in the 21st century.”

From Green Man Review:
The Skylark is a stunning story which captures both the heartbreaking innocence of being a teenager and the heartache of realizing one is middle-aged and has failed to attain the dreams, large and small, which seem to come so easily when one is young and innocent. The characters of the high school friends, both in their older and younger incarnations, are three dimensional and believable, including their very human flaws, and the journey each of them must make to reclaim the pieces of the puzzle are as fascinating for their psychological insights as for the unsettling hints at the magic world which remains mostly obscured. Individually and collectively, I was caught up in their story and wanted to know how it would all turn out for them.”

Michael Fusco
Peter Straub
United States
Out of Print