Publication Day: North American Lake Monsters

Tue 16 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Well, much to my regret I did not get to buy Nathan Ballingrud a tea or a beer at Readercon this past weekend. I saw him here and there, he looked pretty happy and I hope he is as this weekend we celebrated—a couple of days early—the publication of his first short story collection, the bleak, terrifying, heartrendingly brilliant North American Lake MonstersWe did manage to get him by the table to sign some copies of his book, so order soon if you’d like one. (We shipped out the personalized copies today.) Nathan is reading at the KGB Bar in New York City tomorrow night with his good friend, Dale Bailey—not coincidentally the co-author of one of the stories in his book, “The Crevasse.”

Early reaction to the book is strong, not surprising given the strength of the stories here. There’s an interview and a story coming up on Weird Fiction Review and reviews coming in some major newspapers and sites and we’re always curious to hear what readers think of our books. This one is excellent, but, oh so harsh!

Here’s where you can see and hear Nathan in the next month or two:

28 – Aug. 3, Shared Worlds, Wofford College, SC

3, 7 pm, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC (Bull Spec 3rd annual summer speculative fiction event)
28, 7 pm, Malaprop’s, Asheville, NC

“Ballingrud’s work isn’t like any other. These stories are full of sadness and sorrow, but they’re not merely sad. Like Tom Waits, Ballingrud is an expert at teasing out every delicious shade and nuance, every fine gradation of misery and pain. It’s a heady and fantastic cocktail mixed from roughnecks and down-and-outers and flawed people who find in their ordinary and terrible world monsters, magic, and the strange. Ballingrud’s fantastic elements are never seen full on, but always out of the corner of your eye, and it makes them all the more haunting.”
—Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

“A good horror story stays with you long after reading it. A great horror story doesn’t simply stay with you, it haunts you, and Nathan Ballingrud’s fiction does just that. He breathes life into rough, blue-collar characters and places them in some of the best dark fiction being written today. Every single story in this collection is an emotional gut punch.  The despair that saturates these tales is rich, and often it is not the supernatural elements in these tales that is horrific.”
Arkham Digest

“For those willing to go down the dark road that’s laid out here, and those willing to feel complex patterns of sympathy, disgust, and horror for (often bad) people, this is an interesting collection. Uncomfortable a read as it is, it has the tinge of reality to it: a reality that often we’d rather not look at.”
—Brit Mandelo,