It's an understatement to say that Night Shade Books has been through the ringer in recent years — and not for no reason. The ex-management's attitude to its authors as well as silly little things like contracts and royalties and what not was (as has been documented in excruciating detail elsewhere) abominable.
I'll say this, though: since the small press was acquired by Skyhorse and Start, I think things have been looking up. Speaking as a blogger rather than an author, working with the company in any capacity was next to impossible for me before it was auctioned off — I gather I was blacklisted after speaking out against the publisher way back when in 2010 — but last month a representative got in touch to see if I'd be interested in a fresh start of sorts, and I agreed, seeing no reason to bear a grudge against Night Shade Books' new bosses.
Didn't hurt that they had a few beautiful-looking new books on the slate, not least The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron:
Over the course of two award-winning collections and a critically acclaimed novel, The Croning, Laird Barron has arisen as one of the strongest and most original literary voices in modern horror and the dark fantastic. Melding supernatural horror with hardboiled noir, espionage, and a scientific backbone, Barron's stories have garnered critical acclaim and have been reprinted in numerous year's best anthologies and nominated for multiple awards, including the Crawford, International Horror Guild, Shirley Jackson, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy awards.
Barron returns with his third collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All. Collecting interlinking tales of sublime cosmic horror, including "Blackwood's Baby," "The Carrion Gods in Their Heaven," and "The Men from Porlock," The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All delivers enough spine-chilling horror to satisfy even the most jaded reader.
Having got my grubby paws on a physical copy a week or so ago, I can say with absolute certainty that The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All is well worth the money. It would be a fine investment at full price, in fact, but from the time of this writing (I'm told) till the end of October, you can grab the Kindle edition of this brand new and rather brilliant collection for just $2 on Amazon.com.
How's that for a bargain book? And timely, too, what with All Hallows on the horizons...