Thanatrauma by Steve Rasnic Tem
Hardcover – Valancourt – Jan 2022 – 254 pages
“All my life I’ve dreamed of the dead.”
Thanatrauma: the dread of it erodes you, the shadows waiting at the end, the impending conclusion, the troubling dream from which you will not wake.
These 21 stories – four published here for the first time – explore some of our fundamental fears: death, loss, grief, and aging. In “Reflections in Black,” a man takes a phantasmagoric Halloween journey in search of a former love. In “The Parts Man,” a man enters a desperate contract with a sinister entity in a long, vintage automobile. The darkly beautiful “The Dead Outside My Door” is a haunting post-apocalyptic tale unlike any you’ve ever read. Other offerings include “Whatever You Want,” in which a Christmas wish has terrible consequences; “Torn,” a bizarre vision of a highly personalized hell; and “The Way Station,” a tribute to the legendary Stefan Grabinski. Also featured is a special bonus, “August Freeze,” from the lost, undistributed Winter 1985 issue of Weird Tales.