Monstrous Affections

Awards

  • 2009 Black Quill Award, Best Dark Genre Fiction Collection (Monstrous Affections)

Black Quill Award Winner, Best Dark Genre Collection (2010)

A young bride and her future mother-in-law risk everything to escape it. A repentant father summons help from a pot of tar to ensure it. A starving woman learns from howling winds and a whispering host, just how fulfilling it can finally be.

Can it be love?

Reviews of Monstrous Affections:

A perverted version of Alice Munro country . . . These stories work so well in part because of Nickle's facility with the language of the place he's created.
Quill & Quire (starred review)
[L]ike the cover, the stories inside are not what they seem. But also, like the cover, the stories inside are brilliant . . . You'd think that you were reading a book full of what you had always expected a horror story to be, but Nickle takes a left turn and blindsides you with tales that are not of the norm, but are all the more horrific because of surprise twists, darkness and raw emotion.
Bleak, stark and creepy, Stoker-winner Nickle's first collection will delight the literary horror reader . . . 13 terrifying tales of rural settings, complex and reticent characters and unexpected twists that question the fundamentals of reality. All are delivered with a certain grace, creating a sparse yet poetic tour of the horrors that exist just out of sight . . . This ambitious collection firmly establishes Nickle as a writer to watch.
David Nickle writes 'em damned weird and damned good and damned dark. He is bourbon-rough, poetic and vivid. Don't miss this one.
—Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother
Even though this is the third or fourth time that I’ve read some of these tales, they’ve lost none of their power through the passage of time or the rigors of repeated study.
[T]he truly breathtaking feature of the book is the author's marvelously assured hand as a writer and the deft precision with which he manages to give life to that dark world that often seems to lie just out of our view at any given moment . . . The seemingly humble conceits behind these stories mask some truly inspired flashes of weirdness and a theme of families and what ultimately holds them together, which runs through the 14 stories in the book . . . [A])n absolutely brilliant collection and easily one of the most satisfying books of the past few years and marking David Nickle as one the most talented writers to emerge from Canada in the last 10 years.
Rich characters and a love of unique twists top off a captivating and sometimes gruesome collection of nightmares.

eShorts

These single stories from this collection are available for individual purchase:

The Webley by David Nickle

Two boys contend with a terrible hound, a lingering feud, and the ghosts of a great war in Depression-era Ontario. From Monstrous Affections, this tale is part of Stoker Award-winner David Nickle’s collection of short fiction about love in all its horrific proportions.

ChiZine Publications (CZP) curates the best of the bizarre, bringing you the most excitingly weird, subtle, dark, and disturbing literary fiction. Look for more titles in the ChiZine short stories collection to build your digital library.

$0.99

Polyphemus' Cave by David Nickle

A 1930s B movie actor returns to his mother's side in rural Idaho for the funeral of his father, killed helping clear up after the derailment of a circus train. The official word is death by elephant--but word around town is that something older escaped when the train left its tracks. From Monstrous Affections, this tale is part of Stoker Award-winner David Nickle’s collection of short fiction about love in all its horrific proportions.

ChiZine Publications (CZP) curates the best of the bizarre, bringing you the most excitingly weird, subtle, dark, and disturbing literary fiction. Loo

$0.99

Fly in your Eye by David Nickle

A warning, to those who go to that place down south and don't take the warnings about the in the Fodor's Guide about the local fauna seriously enough. From Monstrous Affections, this tale is part of Stoker Award-winner David Nickle’s collection of short fiction about love in all its horrific proportions.

ChiZine Publications (CZP) curates the best of the bizarre, bringing you the most excitingly weird, subtle, dark, and disturbing literary fiction. Look for more titles in the ChiZine short stories collection to build your digital library.

$0.99

The Delilah Party by David Nickle

When Mitchell Owen's first and best crush Delilah disappears, Mitchell finds himself the guest at a very strange party, whose hosts know more than a little about Mitchell's burning love, and may know just a bit too much about what happened to the beautiful Delilah. From Monstrous Affections, this tale is part of Stoker Award-winner David Nickle’s collection of short fiction about love in all its horrific proportions.

ChiZine Publications (CZP) curates the best of the bizarre, bringing you the most excitingly weird, subtle, dark, and disturbing literary fiction. Look for more titles in

$0.99

Swamp Witch and the Tea-Drinking Man by David Nickle

Swamp witch looks after her town like a terrarium full of beloved newts--and the only thing she asks of them is one Saturday night free, to see her man Albert Farmer. But all things must change, and when the mysterious tea-drinking man shows up with a bag full of regrets, swamp witch and her steed dragonfly get ready to fight for what's hers. From Monstrous Affections, this tale is part of Stoker Award-winner David Nickle’s collection of short fiction about love in all its horrific proportions.

ChiZine Publications (CZP) curates the best of the bizarre, bringing you the most excitingl

$0.99

The Inevitability of Earth by David Nickle

When Michael was a kid, he saw his grandfather fly, unaided, over the family's vegetable garden. As a young man, he is obsessed with learning the old man's secret. But grandfather's nowhere to be found, and his grandmother has secrets of her own. From Monstrous Affections, this tale is part of Stoker Award-winner David Nickle’s collection of short fiction about love in all its horrific proportions.

ChiZine Publications (CZP) curates the best of the bizarre, bringing you the most excitingly weird, subtle, dark, and disturbing literary fiction. Look for more titles in the ChiZine short

$0.99

Slide Trombone by David Nickle

Drugs, booze, the music of Led Zeppelin and a fish who prefers Rush turn a weekend jam session into a moment of transcendence and depravity for four old high school friends trying to recapture their glory days. From Monstrous Affections, this tale is part of Stoker Award-winner David Nickle’s collection of short fiction about love in all its horrific proportions.

ChiZine Publications (CZP) curates the best of the bizarre, bringing you the most excitingly weird, subtle, dark, and disturbing literary fiction. Look for more titles in the ChiZine short stories collection to build your dig

$0.99

The Pit-Heads by David Nickle

Four landscape painters learn that the true cost of inspiration is blood, in the abandoned mines of a Northern Ontario ghost town. From Monstrous Affections, this tale is part of Stoker Award-winner David Nickle’s collection of short fiction about love in all its horrific proportions.

ChiZine Publications (CZP) curates the best of the bizarre, bringing you the most excitingly weird, subtle, dark, and disturbing literary fiction. Look for more titles in the ChiZine short stories collection to build your digital library.

$0.99

The Mayor Will Make A Brief Statement and then Take Questions by David Nickle

The mayor holds a news conference, as his city's grief for a child killed in a tragic auto accident grows into something terrible. From Monstrous Affections, this tale is part of Stoker Award-winner David Nickle’s collection of short fiction about love in all its horrific proportions.

ChiZine Publications (CZP) curates the best of the bizarre, bringing you the most excitingly weird, subtle, dark, and disturbing literary fiction. Look for more titles in the ChiZine short stories collection to build your digital library.

$0.99

Other People's Kids by David Nickle

A roadside burger joint is transformed into an arena for a pint-sized battle royale, as gangs of sugared-up Children of the Corn Syrup are goaded on by a demonic child whose taste for mayhem knows no bounds. From Monstrous Affections, this tale is part of Stoker Award-winner David Nickle’s collection of short fiction about love in all its horrific proportions.

ChiZine Publications (CZP) curates the best of the bizarre, bringing you the most excitingly weird, subtle, dark, and disturbing literary fiction. Look for more titles in the ChiZine short stories collection to build your digita

$0.99

Night of the Tar Baby by David Nickle

When Shelly's dad comes home from a stint in jail, he brings with him an unlikely talisman to make sure that everything in the family's life will be sweetness and light from now on. Or else. From Monstrous Affections, this tale is part of Stoker Award-winner David Nickle’s collection of short fiction about love in all its horrific proportions.

ChiZine Publications (CZP) curates the best of the bizarre, bringing you the most excitingly weird, subtle, dark, and disturbing literary fiction. Look for more titles in the ChiZine short stories collection to build your digital library.

$0.99

Janie and the Wind by David Nickle

Janie has a taste for pulp fiction and a eye for the unseen. On a retreat at a horror writer's island lodge, a wind comes on the lake that offers her a taste for something at once more familiar and forbidden. From Monstrous Affections, this tale is part of Stoker Award-winner David Nickle’s collection of short fiction about love in all its horrific proportions.

ChiZine Publications (CZP) curates the best of the bizarre, bringing you the most excitingly weird, subtle, dark, and disturbing literary fiction. Look for more titles in the ChiZine short stories collection to build your digit

$0.99

The Sloan Men by David Nickle

A young bride and her future mother-in-law have a quiet conversation about the true nature of the men they love--and together, learn that the true nature of love may in fact be nothing more a terrible trap. From Monstrous Affections, this tale is part of Stoker Award-winner David Nickle’s collection of short fiction about love in all its horrific proportions.

ChiZine Publications (CZP) curates the best of the bizarre, bringing you the most excitingly weird, subtle, dark, and disturbing literary fiction. Look for more titles in the ChiZine short stories collection to build your digital

$0.99

Other Reviews

goodreads 3.78/5 stars more...

Author Info

David Nickle portrait

David Nickle is a Toronto-based author and journalist whose fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies like Cemetery Dance, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, the Northern Frights series and the Queer Fear series. Some of it has been collected in his book of stories, Monstrous Affections. His first solo novel, Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism, led the National Post to call him “a worthy heir to the mantle of Stephen King.” His most recent novel, Rasputin's Bastards, was called supernatural eeriness at its best. He also works as a reporter, covering Toronto municipal politics for a chain of community newspapers.

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