BOOKS

BROKEN HIGHWAY

Jessica and Patrick’s tour of the Australian outback began as a honeymoon of sorts – a chance for cross-continental lovers to become even more enamored of each other against the backdrop of a picturesque desert world.

But, like so many travelers discover before them, the desert roads of Australia have always been littered with denizens; those who perceive the highways as hunting grounds.

CAR CRASH WEATHER

Horror writer Michael Richards is disturbed from his daily grind by blood dripping from the ceiling, which steadily worsens.

Soon, the blood becomes Michael’s personal metaphor in a battle of denial …

 

THE DEVIL’S PLAYTHING

Idle hands are the Devil’s plaything …

After finishing high school, Liam Goodald and his friends quickly discover the meaning of boredom: freewill as a state of mind and not an abstract philosophy.

With blistering heat settling into their apartment like a sickness, it’s the sanatorium across the road that captures their attention – the forbidding hospital where mental patients are routinely neglected. Sometimes, they are even given freewill to roam …

And when the Devil’s plaything arrives, anything can happen.

SCHIZOID

At thirty-four years of age, dark fiction scribe Micha Tudor has finally had enough trying to eke out a living as an author. Suicide, that eternal taboo of man, could potentially provide an escape hatch for an exhausted spirit seeking a reset button.

But when Micha awakens in a world of his own making – a world straight from the pages of his new novel – he soon discovers the afterlife is far from an escape hatch or even oblivion. For in Hadley Grove, monsters walk the streets. Towering creatures composed of mercury who seem tied to the town’s ancient church brooding above the oceanic bluffs. Presided over by the ominous sibling priests Malphas and Natal Purson, their hellish cathedral seems inextricably linked with Hadley Grove …

And now, Micha himself.

Schizoid is a dark-hued fable of the often precarious line between our waking lives and the restorative power of storytelling.

 

HOMAGE

Illusion and artifice – simulated worlds for those willing to pay the price.

A realm where every fantasy and indulgence is catered to.

Harboring a penchant for murder and sadism: reaching the outer limits of all that is taboo …

 

PROVIDENCE PLACE

Once a bustling school playing host to the elite of Cranston, Providence Place now sits completely abandoned; a derelict world of memories for the populace of Rhode Island. It’s also a place where people come from all over the country seeking their scares. People like Dillon Cook, a budding film-maker who decides to recruit four past pupils for his next independent film. A director with a taste for the tragic places of the world, Dillon sees Providence Place as the perfect backdrop for tragedy to unfold …

 

 

 

 

DARK MERIDIAN

Peru, 1835, and the Order of Sant’Antonio have just witnessed something that goes against all belief: a ball of light has penetrated their sanctuary. Nobody has seen anything like it before and Brother Chabuca Cristal knows that one of his own flock is responsible for its presence. When Brother Meridian is abducted by the flying object and taken away, all except Brother Cristal breathe a sigh of relief that the ordeal is over…

 

 

 

 

OLEARIA

In his 2013 novel Dark Meridian, Matthew Tait introduced us to Adam Lavas: a washed up rock star who retires in solitude and discovered another world in the process. Welcome to the second story in Adam’s narrative … Olearia.

Once a popular scholar in UFO circles, world-renowned writer Alex Barnett has also retreated from the public-eye. After a near-brush with death years previous on a remote outback station, Alex has been gifted (or cursed) with numinous abilities that ultimately bring harm to those he loves the most. But soon his withdrawal is hampered by a new mystery: the whereabouts of Adam Lavas. Sensing a kinship with the failed musician (and believing Adam to be more than human), Alex journey’s to the secret mansion known as Meridian in the foothills of Adelaide, there to discover an ally whose true form is married to mystery of the stars.

In the world of Olearia lies the clandestine school of God’s Grove, a transitional sect led by the mysterious human known as Zed. Here, students seek a path to enlightenment that is both enigmatic and suspicious. Arriving as Messengers from another world, Adam and his entourage will soon learn the true meaning of evolution; to go beyond the human kingdom and ultimately transcend the physical.

 

SLANDER HALL

Fifteen years ago the affluent gated-community of Slander Hall was the setting of the largest mass suicide in U.S history, dozens of men and women committing the ultimate sacrifice and embracing the covenant of their leader to shed their bodies for a life in outer space. Now a modern ghost town, it boasts only the decaying and derelict phantoms of a withered populace. Cedar Jarrell, sole survivor of the holocaust that claimed so many, returns to the dark heart of Slander Hall on a final pilgrimage where not all who take the journey will survive …

Also included in this second edition are two more tales – stories that put the reader into a disturbing world of lunacy and paranoia that could be just around the corner for any of us. In Doll Steak, an average man is trapped within a room of sinister dolls and quickly learns that staring into the abyss only amplifies his worst fears. With Terrica, Matthew Tait invites you to a small town where vehicular manslaughter is a way of life … and highways are a preying ground for monsters.

 

 

DAVEY RIBBON

Australian Shadows Award Finalist

Hidden within the Pitch Pines of Cyclone Cove forty-five years prior, Wyvern Way becomes a sinister backdrop when a young autistic child bears witness to atrocity. Rescued by an unlikely source, the two make a final pact that resonates throughout the future generations of the town.

Though small, the municipal of Cyclone Cove sits at the very apex of cutting-edge technology, thanks to giant computing firm Azarcheal Systems Conglomerate. Led by Samara Reagan, the ASC maintains its stranglehold through means sometimes not of the human world …

Elusive and equally mysterious, Norman Perks is a wealthy recluse whose house looks down upon the town like a haunted idol – and whose love of the written word propels him to chronicle the ongoing story of Cyclone Cove.

And at the heart of this story lives Davey Ribbon … a gifted child shrouded in urban legend and the keeper of a legacy now grown to near-mythic proportions. As a ghost story for children like the Barlow twins, and an allegory for grown-ups like Jerry Reed and Sean Hunt: Davey’s tale is about to climax. And when the annual Cyclone Fair comes rolling into town, it won’t just be the wealthy and powerful who have a part to play in Davey’s endgame saga.

 

THE GRIEF SCHOOL

As a man of chance, Myles Lacey understood all too well the whims of the universe, and that meant death was a constant in life. The sudden loss of his wife Linda was an inopportune advent – but at least it gave back to him the freedom to play underground gambler to his heart’s content.

When a losing streak forces him to seek out a loan shark, Myles knows that the stakes are high. But what he doesn’t understand is that his personal saviour offers a lot more than mere deliverance from a life of bad decisions and mounting debt. What Jango Ravana offers is The Grief School, and whether he deserves it or not, Myles soon becomes the unwitting pupil.

 

 

 

GHOSTS IN A DESERT WORLD

A writer is disturbed from his daily grind by blood dripping from the ceiling, which gets steadily worse. Soon, the blood becomes his own personal metaphor in a battle of denial.

When a compulsive gambler is forced to seek out a loan shark rooted in myth, he discovers the dark savior teaches a lot more to his pupils than mere deliverance from debt.

Trapped within a room of sinister dolls, an average man is forced to confront his very worst fears … and quickly learns that sometimes staring into the abyss does not grant you a reprieve from them.

Interweaving darkness into socially relevant spiritual and philosophical themes, GHOSTS IN A DESERT WORLD is the debut collection from Australian author Matthew Tait.

Revised and expanded throughout, this new edition also features the previously unpublished novelette MUTABILITY OF THE FLESH.

 

ISLE OF ZOLTAN

Every year, the Isle of Zoltan plays host to Scout troops in their hundreds, Cubs from all across Australia who gather to rock climb, explore caves, and fish in isolation from the mainland. But for Bradley and his friends Nigel and Steve, this year will be different. This year they will learn of Crocotta, whose mystery lies in legend, and whose abandonment generations before at the hands of elders warrants the kind of violent revenge only a wild and untamed thing can understand …

 

 

 

 

DIFFERENT MASKS: A DECADE IN THE DARK

A journey of appraisal; critiques of the finest books and adaptations of dark and speculative fiction spanning the past decade. Over one hundred essays that will take you into the dark maw of modern horror in both literature and contemporary cinema.