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Wicked Delights

 

 

Now available from Atomic Fez

 

The book that sucks the blood from children

The film that turns people into self-destructive
sadomasochistic obsessives

The lunatic asylum that steals souls

The art exhibition of mutilated humanity…
where the exhibits are still alive!


 

John Llewellyn Probert’s latest short story collection – containing 18 delicious selections – mixes the cruel with the carnal, the sadistic with the sexual, the erotic with the outrageous, to bring you tales of a cuckolded husband’s terrible revenge, the television channel where you can pay off your debts but at the worst price imaginable, the man willing to do anything to improve his chances of success with the ladies, a marriage guidance counsellor who goes to bloody extremes to prove her point, the woman who will do anything to keep her family, and a city made entirely from human bone. All of this, and the last Christmas ever, just to make things even more cheery.

 

Contents

 

Introduction

At Midnight I Will Steal Your Soul

Special Offer

Daughter of the City

The Iconostasis of Imperfections

Ophelia

Size Matters

Recipe for Disaster

Best Man’s Speech

The Mirror of Tears

The Comeback Kid

Last Christmas

In Sickness and…

Two for Dinner

De Vermis Infestis

The Dispossessed

Your Help Needed Urgently!

The Volkendorf Exhibition

Some Must Suffer

Afterword

 

Reviews & Comments

John Llewellyn Probert is a unique man. Readers may compare his short fiction to Neil Gaiman, Jeremy Shipp, or Clive Barker (on helium). 

Wicked Delights, his 5th collection has sold out printing both in the UK & USA already, giving Atomic Fez another feather in its… fez.

How would one describe Probert’s stories?  Weird but frightening comes close but like those authors noted above, one must read and truly digest his stories first before beginning to understand what this man is capable of – and how to describe (rather, how description fails to capture their essence).   Asylums run wild (of course) but twist in unique ways.  Books which drink blood from children?  A television station which takes care of one’s financial burdens?  A corporation breaking apart not only departments, but humans themselves?  Yeah, he’s odd but the stories work and his sparse prose allow the ideas and humor to ring the way they should. 

Recently, Atomic Fez and Probert held a contest where the winner won a “Wickedly Delightful” champagne breakfast with the author to help market the collection.  With these 18 tales, not much is needed to celebrate the writing within these pages.  Another winner from a unique press.

-- Dave Simms, Horror World


When he’s not penning gruesomely amusing horror tales, Probert writes essays online reviewing some of his favorite slasher flicks, both obscure and famous. In his fifth story collection, his cinematic appetite often manifests in stray movie references and crisp, screenplay-ready narration laced with vivid imagery. The opening story, “At Midnight I Will Steal Your Soul,” for instance, shares its title with a little-known 1964 Brazilian movie and follows a fearful woman’s visit to a psychiatric hospital, where an evil presence waits to claim her soul and body. “Ophelia” recounts the fate of a young woman kidnapped expressly to become a model corpse for a group of unprincipled artists bent on reproducing great paintings. In “Your Help Needed Urgently!,” a deceitful businessman is forced to watch video clips of torture scenes to avoid being exposed. More than once Probert goes absurdly over the top with his story arcs, but his penchant for wily humor and odd narrative twists just as often yields a genre gem.

Carl Hays, Booklist


It’s an immensely entertaining read…

[“Two for Dinner”] is so deliriously tongue in cheek and full of witty invention, written with such panache and obvious delight that I found it impossible to read without a smirk of satisfaction taking up residence on my chops. This is the story that best represents the promised Wicked Delights.

Probert gives the readers [in “Mirror of Tears”] some genuinely unsettling moments on the way to a surprise ending…

Probert’s twisted logic [in “Your Help Needed Urgently!”] turns things on their head and provides a gonzo explanation for why this is taking place. Did I like this story? Agree strongly.

His comments [in the “Afterword”] and the insights they provide into his creative process are almost as engaging as the fiction.

A fine collection from a writer who… is a skilled storyteller, one who works at his craft, and is always going to provide fair measure of thrills and chills in a horror mode for the discerning reader.

Peter Tennant; Black Static, Issue #17 (June/July 2010)


Prolific horror writer Probert (The Faculty of Terror) offers up 18 gruesome, unsettling, and often unnervingly funny tales in his wide-ranging fifth short story collection. In “At Midnight, I Will Steal Your Soul,” a terrifying choir rehearsal in a haunted asylum leads an anxiety-plagued woman to a profound realization. “Two for Dinner” is a heart-pounding tribute to revenge horror films with a gleefully disturbing punch line. “The Mirror of Tears” is a haunting family drama about childhood terror and the sometimes damaging power of love. Vividly creepy images—the pages of a cookbook sucking on a child like leeches, an entire company being reduced to a sculpture of body parts as part of a corporate takeover—are all the more compelling when rendered in Probert’s breezy style. An illuminating and frequently hilarious afterword ends the collection on a gentle note. (Apr.)

Starred review in Publishers' Weekly


The delightfully wicked Mr Probert wields his prose like a scalpel.

His imagination is impressively warped and gruesome, and yet his tales have an unrepentantly English reticence. There's dark humour here, and unexpected

poignancy - indeed, the book is as full of surprises as the man himself.

Horror is lucky to have him.

 

Ramsey Campbell, author of Creatures of the Pool, Just Behind You, and many, many other works of horror


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