The Dread They Left Behind

-by Gary Fry–

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“The seed of this novella was a single image I’d long had in mind before composition. A young boy standing in a farmyard no longer knowing which hand he led with. That struck me as a promising metaphor for something my conscious mind had yet to catch up with, and indeed it was another few years before I finally figured it all out. By this time I’d returned to my early love of the classic dark novella. Lovecraft, obviously, but also a renewed appreciation of Arthur Machen, particularly his criminally underrated ‘The Terror’. In that piece, I was struck by its accumulative, almost investigative structure, the way it drew upon different sources of information to conjure a vision packed with verisimilitude.

In The Dread They Left Behind, I wanted to evoke an isolated rural community via the medium of a retrospective first-person narrator along the lines of he who regales us in HPL’s ‘The Color out of Space’. The difference is that mine is directly exposed to and physically affected by the historical events. Along with all the requisite intrigue and frights, the piece allowed me to explore concerns I have about political extremism. It took a long while to get right – I tinkered with it for years. But for me it embodies everything I hold dear in the field. Whether it does so successfully, I leave for readers to determine.”

Gary Fry

Paperback – £7.99

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ebook – £1.49

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  • Black Shuck Signature series
  • Format ~ Novella
  • Length ~ 116 pages
  • Published ~ 27th July 2023
  • ISBN ~ 978-1-913038-81-6