The hardest journeys in life and death are taken underground.
No blackmail is as ghastly as extortion from angels.
A swift reckoning often travels in handheld luggage.
Once considered inhumane and now derelict, this zoo may not be as empty as assumed.
A bad marriage, a killer couple, and part of a wider movement.
No sign of life aboard an abandoned freighter, but what is left aboard tells a strange story.
The origin of our species is not what we think.
In destitution, the future for revolution and mass murder is so bright.
Your memories may not be your own, and your life nothing more than a ritual that will compel you to perform an atrocity . . .
Hasty for the Dark is the second short story collection from the award-winning and widely appreciated British writer of horror fiction, Adam L. G. Nevill. These selected terrors range from the speculative to supernatural horror, encompass the infernal and the occult, and include stories inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, Robert Aickman, Mark Samuels and Ramsey Campbell.
The author’s best horror stories from 2009 to 2015 are collected here for the first time.Free collection sampler here
An Entrée to Hasty for the Dark
These stories were written between 2009 and 2015, and published between 2010 and 2017. My original aim with Ritual Limited was to anthologise stories that I deemed worthy of single-author titles, in two volumes. So this collection completes the first twenty one years’ worth of my horror and weird short stories, with the final tales written as late as 2015. I intend there to be more stories in the future, but for now these are the last of the stories that I have raised from the darkness and want to keep within the light.
The stories are arranged in the chronological order of their composition, but I think there are subtle differences between the stories in this collection and those in Some Will Not Sleep. Chiefly, the stories in this collection, I would say, are more speculative in tone; the monstrous and supernatural may be expressed more abstractly and enigmatically in this volume.
This collection also presents four tribute stories: conscious homage to other writers within the field of horror. Some Will Not Sleep only contains one story in that vein, ‘Where Angels Come In’.
I was also a more mature writer when these stories were written; I don’t think that makes these stories stronger or weaker, but different, if only in nuanced ways. Readers of both volumes of my selected horrors, however, may be the best judges.
Hasty for the Dark contains nine stories, not the eleven of Some Will Not Sleep. But ‘Call the Name’ came out at near novella length, and my gut tells me that the length of this collection remains comfortable. Too many more pages and the stories risk blurring in the reader’s mind. I arrive at this conclusion from my own reading experience.
This volume is also published from the advantageous position of the author and publisher, me, having more experience in an independent publishing capacity. When I cast the first book into the maelstrom of modern independent publishing I was inexperienced as an independent entity. But the appreciation of the first collection provided an auspicious wind that filled my sails as I produced this second anthology. And such was the enthusiasm of readers for the first book, the second is dedicated to my readers. Ritual Limited would not have risen upon its hind legs without their interest and patronage.
The collection’s title suggests that I might be guilty of indulging myself, because it is taken from one of my recent novels, Under a Watchful Eye – part of a quotation from my character M. L. Hazzard, writer of strange experiences and a cult leader. Looking back on his life, one filled with mental projections into spheres invisible to the naked eye, the nefarious Hazzard concluded that ‘none should be hasty for the dark’. Neither living or entirely dead, the good doctor Hazzard becomes proof of this within his ghastly limbo. But from the safety of our homes, or during our own travels, in these stories we can vicariously experience the travails of those who sought the darkness, or clawed at what they believed to be the light . . .