A Long December

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Now, nearly two decades later, Chizmar assembles thirty-five stories, including a previously-unpublished novella, and presents us with A Long December.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 Edition of 1500 signed and numbered hardcover copies
Dust jacket by Edward Miller
Published by: Subterranean Press
Publication Date: 2016

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

Praise & Reviews

“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

“…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.”
—Peter Straub

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

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