Pick among the rubble of modern civilization, and listen for the beating of its rusted heart.
"Dark fiction so numbing cold and cutting edge you better hold onto your ass with your free hand … There are no simple 'entertainments' or cheap grabs for the throat to be found here. Hodge is deadly serious about presenting a world where the worst punishment is the mere fact that you are aware you will probably live to see another day."
So wrote esteemed critic Stanley Wiater about The Convulsion Factory before ranking it among the 113 best books of modern horror fiction. Its 12 stories are fused together by the recurring motif of decay … the decay of cities and families, identity and gender, idolatry and love. Among them:
"Godflesh" - In pursuit of the ultimate in pleasure, what's ancient is new again.
"Androgyny" - What is love? Two souls and one flesh.
"Cancer Causes Rats" - The symbiosis between a TV reporter and the serial killer who's making her career metamorphoses toward its inevitable extreme.
"Extinctions In Paradise" - Their daily struggle for survival hurtles the street kids of a South American slum into a new phase of evolution.
"Liturgical Music For Nihilists" - In the chill of a derelict slaughterhouse, an accidental god awakens and calls to its own.
Out of decay comes new life.
If only that were the good news…
"I haven't enjoyed a story collection so much since Clive Barker kept me up all night when I first got my hands on The Books of Blood." - Philip Nutman, from the Introduction
"A spectacularly unflinching writer … Leaves most contemporary horror writing in the dust. This is a terrific collection." - Peter Straub
"Stark, grim, and wholly horrifying … an unforgettable and disturbing collection." - Dark Echo