Mongrels: A Novel (2016)
“A spellbinding and darkly humorous coming-of-age story about an unusual boy, whose family lives on the fringe of society and struggles to survive in a hostile world that shuns and fears them.
He was born an outsider, like the rest of his family. Poor yet resilient, he lives in the shadows with his aunt Libby and uncle Darren, folk who stubbornly make their way in a society that does not understand or want them. They are mongrels, mixed blood, neither this nor that. The boy at the center of Mongrels must decide if he belongs on the road with his aunt and uncle, or if he fits with the people on the other side of the tracks.
For ten years, he and his family have lived a life of late-night exits and narrow escapes—always on the move across the South to stay one step ahead of the law. But the time is drawing near when Darren and Libby will finally know if their nephew is like them or not. And the close calls they’ve been running from for so long are catching up fast now. Everything is about to change.”
By Stephen Graham Jones
Get it now here
Stephen Graham Jones is a Blackfeet Native American author of experimental fiction, horror fiction, crime fiction, and science fiction. Jones has won the “Texas Institute of Letters Award and a National Endowment for the Arts fellow in fiction.
Beneath the Moors by Brian Lumley, 1974. Cover art by Herb Arnold.
Hello! This is one of those moments when I really appreciate the folks who follow the blog. My knee-jerk response was “no"; then something bothered me about that answer. Gavin’s name was familiar enough, but I read a lot (including a lot of short fiction collections) and things get hazy sometimes, blah blah blah. I whipped-out the kindle and did a quick search.
Not only have I read his work, it’s in at least three of my favorite Mythos/Horror anthologies: The Children of Old Leech, Grimscribe’s Puppets, and Fungi. Yikes. I can’t believe I’ve read this much of his fiction but know so little about him/it as a whole,etc. I had a total of seven collections that featured his writing: (the three above and) The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five, Black Wings II: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror, The Year’s Best Weird Fiction: Volume One, and Autumn Cthulhu.
Now, the fact that I am still not completely ‘familiar’ with his work after all of that says much, much more about my tendency to read too much of this stuff in giant, ravenous binges than it does about his skill (not to mention the tendency for the collections to feature so many of the same folks that they blur…and my age, but we’re not talkin’ about that). So I took a few minutes this evening to revisit some of his stories, and they are great. Yep. I think my favorite is still Goatsbride. It’s really short, but it’s a beautiful thing that I’ve loved since my first reading. [Anyone following for any length of time knows my *thing* that particular anthology (Fungi, from Innsmouth Free Press), so that may have some influence on my preference.] His tribute-to-Barron story from Old Leech, called The Old Pageant, is very good, too. I thought he really captured the atmosphere of The Croning, some of its/Barron’s larger themes, as well as that uncanny feeling you get when you read much of Barron’s shorter work. Great tribute story in that way. It reminded me a lot of, gosh, I think it’s called 666, though I didn’t take time to look it up. (Repressed memories of ritual practices and all that…the story, I mean, not me ha)
Anyway, yes! I know of his work and will definitely make it more of a priority to synthesize everything I’ve encountered up ‘til now, as well as to keep an eye out for more of it. I’ll also track down a couple more of his books tonight and add them to my reading list for good measure. 🙂
Again, this blog’s kinda great for stuff like this since so many of its followers are Weird Fiction and Cosmic (and Folk) Horror nerds. I’m never short on recommendations. I really appreciate your mentioning it, and have nice evening.
from Faeries (1981)