About Dark Black:
In this haunting debut collection of short stories, Sam Weller—two-time Bram Stoker Award-winning writer and authorized biographer of the legendary Ray Bradbury—blurs the boundaries between the weird, outré, paranormal, Gothic, and old school punk rock. Dark Black features 20 tales, at turns chilling, melancholy, hilarious, and full-on macabre.
A marine biologist at the end of his career embarks on his greatest field study: to find the mythical sea beast he believes he witnessed as a young man, long ago …
A writing professor discovers the Clutter murder house, made infamous in Truman Capote’s 1966 classic, In Cold Blood, is now available as a rental. He books the home to finish his latest book with dark and unexpected results …
A college student with subtle telekinetic abilities attempts to use her powers in the midst of a horrifying school shooting …
Sam Weller worked side by side with Ray Bradbury for over a decade. No surprise, then, that Dark Black is deeply inspired by Bradbury’s dark and enduring 1955 collection, The October Country, mashed-up with modern influences such as anthology television programs Black Mirror and American Horror Story. Dark Black contains 20 short stories of evanescent ghosts and inner demons, of lost souls and lost love.
Featuring striking, original color artwork by renowned artist and printmaker Dan Grzeca—known for his concert prints for the Black Keys, Sharon Van Etten, U2, among others—Dark Black is a book of haunting new American Gothic fiction.
Praise For Dark Black:
“It’s no surprise that Sam Weller, a renowned scholar of Ray Bradbury, would be such a beautiful storyteller in his own right. What IS a thrill is the depth and breadth of Dark Black’s tales—some of which deserve to be read aloud, crackling-campfire style; others meant to be savored slowly and quite gloriously alone. By turns haunting, mysterious, wickedly funny, and deeply insightful, Dark Black is a truly mood-flipping, mind-tripping collection.”
—Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl
“Weller expertly balances overt scares with subtle introspection. The atmospheric detail and steadily maintained tension make this collection a page-turner.”
“Haunted and haunting, these are stories of a past long gone and yet still with us. Stories of windswept plains towns, of a lost country, full of nostalgia and dread, romance and horror. At times, Weller plays with form (the experimental essay, the rock-band profile) to tell classic tales in new ways–while in other pieces he gives us the goods straight-up. And he has a knack for the mysterious and lyrical ending, coming sooner than you expected, catching you off-guard and wanting more.”
—Charles Yu, author of Interior Chinatown
“In the tradition of Ray Bradbury’s classic collection, The October Country, Sam Weller’s Dark Black took me on a gripping, gothic journey that I didn’t want to end, even as I feared what awaited me beyond the next curve. Weller, a two-time Stoker Award recipient and Bradbury scholar, knows the genre and explores it masterfully as well as chillingly. With stunning illustrations by Dan Grzeca, this book is a keeper.”
—David Morrell, author of Creepers
As an English kid of the 70’s I would collect and devour those little Pan books of horror, cheap paperbacks crammed with various short stories complete with tacky horror’ covers. I adored them. I didn’t even realize how much I missed them until I started reading Sam Weller’s mini-yarns, willfully losing myself in their minutiae and building unease with all the submission of an anxious little kid. Sam Weller is a one-man compendium, effortlessly spewing out bite sized tales of dread and singlehandedly dragging those tales of my childhood snarling into the present day. Horror short stories are where magic lies, tight enough to compel, brief enough to tear through should one fail to grab you. And I hope to see Sam Weller become the new face of the succinct horror fable.
—Ginger Wildheart, Front man of the Wildhearts, author of Songs & Words
“Reading DARK BLACK is like watching a night snowfall gather over a small-town street lamp: it’s gentle, gorgeous,
haunting, and often eerie. But there’s things hiding in the dark too—and Weller knows just when to unleash them.”
—Daniel Kraus, author of The Shape of Water
Buy Direct from Publisher Hat and Beard Press
About The Author:
Sam Weller is the author of Listen to the Echoes and The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury. His is the co-editor of the Bram Stoker Award winning Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury. He has lectured across the United States on the life and work of Bradbury. Weller is the former Midwest Correspondent for Publishers Weekly magazine. He has written for The Paris Review, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Slate, Huffington Post and others. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, journals and books. Weller is the associate chair and an associate professor in the Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago.
Ray Bradbury: The Last Interview:
And other Conversations (The Last Interview Series)
The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury
Listen to the Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews