A Variable Darkness: 13 Tales
From the award-winning, best-selling author of Hannahwhere and Inflictions, John McIlveen offers his latest collection A Variable Darkness, thirteen tales of his trademark blend of heartache, humor, horror, and a ton of humanity. Inside these pages you will meet a captivating girl who is the embodiment of all female youth and the registrar of broken hearts. You will travel to 1693 Massachusetts, where a suspected witch mentors a teenager. You will meet Ricky Briggs, who wakes up without a spine, join in on the craziest Yankee Swap imaginable, and ride along with a cantankerous old spirit in a 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis.
Including an introduction by Tony Tremblay and an afterword by Izzy Lee.
“McIlveen always delivers.”
— Jeff Kivela, Buttonholed Book Reviews
Praise for A Variable Darkness:
“A Variable Darkness is a veritable feast of darkness, in infinitely varied shades. Great stories, great variety. Don’t miss it!”
—F. Paul Wilson, bestselling author of The Adversary Cycle and The Repairman Jack series
“John McIlveen has a gift for the sinister — for the chilling, the thought-provoking, and the double and triple twist. These stories are the mesmerizing work of a master of suspense, and they will haunt you long after you close the final mind-blowing page. The writing is so elegant — I can almost hear Rod Serling narrating!”
— Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of The First to Lie
“With A Variable Darkness, John McIlveen has leveled up. These stories are the perfect blend of heartache and heartless, somehow simultaneously unflinching and brutal, with a trademark thread of dark humor. This collection deserves your attention. I can’t wait to see what he does next!”
— Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Red Hands
“John McIlveen’s A Variable Darkness is a breathtaking collection. Its stories run the gamut from wise, lushly written prose to modern, witty tales. Each story dives beneath the surface and contains fathoms. I thought about ‘Nobody’s Daughter’ for days.”
— Mercedes M. Yardley, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Little Dead Red
“Reading John M. McIlveen’s stories feels like listening to a seasoned storyteller weave words into magic around a campfire. The stories in this collection are scary, sad, funny, heartwarming, and make you think a little more deeply about the people we see around us every day. He gives us witches, goddesses, aliens, smelly ghosts, and so much more to make you laugh, cry, or send a shiver down your spine.”
— Michelle Renee Lane, Bram Stoker Award nominated author of Invisible Chains