The Back of BeyondAlan Peter Ryan passed away suddenly in early June 2011. He had just started a major resurgence in his fiction career — which began in the 1980s with classic horror novels like The Kill and Dead White — and Cemetery Dance was proud to be working with him on several projects. The two completed books have arrived at the Cemetery Dance warehouse and are shipping now.

Let’s take a look at The Back of Beyond first:

Description: Each of these four brand new stories from Alan Peter Ryan feature men who are haunted by different demons in different places and different times…

In Brazil, there are signs that say “Sexual Exploration Is a Crime,” and Jerry Crenshaw has traveled to the country in search of a girlfriend. He finds one and he has never known a girl like Renata. She is friendly and vivacious. She stands very close to him and looks up straight into his eyes and keeps one hand resting lightly on his arm. But Jerry’s going to find a lot more in Brazil than he bargained for, including something in a bag that will change his world forever….

“The Winter’s Tale” tells the story of a man who lives by a churchyard that is widely and firmly reputed to be the haunt of sprites and goblins. The man cares not for such tales, but he should have paid heed to the warnings because he’s about to find out the hard way that he is not alone in the cold winter night…

In “Starvation Valley,” a man and his son are on a cross country drive that is not going according to plan when they end up at a place called Janey’s, which may or may not be real. It certainly feels real while they’re there, but when the man goes back to find it again, he learns that some places in the world, once visited and then left behind, seem never to have existed at all…

In “Mountain Man,” there’s an old man named Hiram Fuller whose hands are thin and gray with dirt, the nails long and broken, each with a black crescent of dirt. He reeks to high heaven, not just of old sweat but of something thick and suffocating like the smell of a savage animal unwillingly caged… and when you meet him on the old trail he says he “ate his horse,” and he “might just have to eat you as well…”

Journey with Alan Peter Ryan into the darkness that resides within all of these men… but don’t travel too far off the path because you might not find your way home again.

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