The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature

I am elated to have Kristine Ong Muslim on board to write the introduction. Her work is of paramount interest to me, as her stories and poetry are profoundly disturbing, beautiful, and revelatory. Muslim writes in that liminal realm where genre or style specifications like science-fiction, horror, or magical realism are inadequate to describe the wanton imagination and wonder her stories evoke. Muslim is one of the most important writers around. 

With The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature I continue to explore philosophy and science as it relates to weird/horror and our comprehension of Nature. But this collection is a bit more theme specific than my debut, as here I examine various notions of sorrow and loss as transformative energies, something that may influence the universe as substantially as the fundamental interactions of gravitational, electromagnetic, and strong or weak forces. I’m relieved that my publisher Jon Padgett was enthusiastic about using Käthe Kollwitz’s art, as her depictions of sorrow and suffering were profoundly influential when writing these stories. And many thanks to Vergvoktre for his lonely, overwhelming art. I’ve been beyond fortunate in working with writers (and a publisher) as phenomenal as Jon Padgett and Kristine Ong Muslim, as well as artists as evocative as Vergvoktre. Thank you all!

Early praise for The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature:

“Slatsky, more than any writer I know, has an ability to fathom human pain in a way that neither dismisses it or dilutes it but rather shows the way pain opens us all up to the inhuman. A powerful book of stories, each of which tears off the face of the so-called real in a different, alarming, enlightening way.”
Brian Evenson, author of A Collapse of Horses and Song for the Unraveling of the World

“In [Slatsky’s] writing, the mundane trembles atop the darkly numinous. Displaying a remarkable variety of formal innovation, the pieces collected in The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature slice through the conventions of daily existence to the profound and terrifying absence undergirding it. In the best tradition of Ligotti and [Nicole] Cushing, Slatsky’s work wrestles with the void, to produce an art uniquely his.”
John Langan, author of Sefira and Other Betrayals and The Fisherman

“The sense of loss in these stories is profound but balanced by a powerful yearning for wonders sublime and ineffable. Whether grotesque, conjuring dread and horror, or plunging the reader’s imagination into the fantastic, the strangeness never feels forced and seems innate to the writer. With The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature, Christopher Slatsky embeds himself among the best writers of the contemporary North American Weird Tale.”
Adam Nevill, author of The Ritual and The Reddening

“The gritty landscapes and detailed, hallucinogenic transformations in these extraordinary stories are somewhat reminiscent of Ramsey Campbell’s work, but Slatsky’s journeys lead us into weird visions even more darkly grotesque as his characters walk that delicate line between madness and illumination. The sensibility here as he explores the ineffable qualities of nature and our place within it (as just another animal) evokes the best of Algernon Blackwood, but through the lens of characters caught in downward spirals of grief and despair. Few writers of weird fiction go as dark as Christopher Slatsky.”
Steve Rasnic Tem, author of Ubo and Deadfall Hotel

“A book of dreams and lamentations. Slatsky writes powerfully of absence, of grief, discovering cosmic horror in the agony of loss and a kind of bereavement in cosmic despair. Throughout The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature, stories of human tragedy become windows to an empty universe. The view is at once sobering, inspiring, and profoundly sad.”
Daniel Mills, author of Moriah and The Lord Came at Twilight

Christopher Slatsky achieves a sense of dread and disorientation through the accumulation of small details, compounding into physical settings that are at once both familiar and dream-like, environments that embody the struggle between cosmic entropy and human loss. Navigating one of his stories is like exploring an abandoned factory or gutted house, uncovering buried jewel and charred bone, and discovering snapshots of your own life amongst the detritus. His prose is beautiful, his range breathtaking. I have admired his work in the past, but this generous volume has cemented my opinion: he is absolutely one of the finest writers of horror and the uncanny working today.”
Jeffrey Thomas, author of Punktown and The Unnamed Country

“Christopher Slatsky’s second collection, The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature, is a marvel of horror and weird fiction. The stories in its pages speak equally to loss and existential horror as they do the far-flung mysteries of the universe and the terrifying wonder those mysteries can awaken. On every page, Slatsky forges a strange, mesmerizing alloy of the sublime, the spectral, and the scientific. In his hands, the weird becomes an entryway to dark and disturbing metaphysical speculation. He evokes the threat of malign demiurges in space exploration, the inexplicable nature of all being in personal tragedy. Call it cosmic hauntology. Call it the despair of the numinous. Call it whatever you will, it’s uniquely Slatsky, and it will twist your mind in the best possible ways. The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature proves beyond any doubt that horror and the weird are as much a vessel for serious philosophy as they are for a shudder-inducing tale. I cannot recommend it enough.”
Kurt Fawver, author of The Dissolution of Small Worlds

“…Slatsky’s voice is rare and thus commendable for his total devotion to the darkest, most funereal, dead dreamer’s songs… If you like your horror pitch black—this is it!”
—Dejan Ognjanović, Dante’s Pick in Rue Morgue magazine, #192, Jan./Feb. 2019

“…Slatsky’s The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature is one tremendous emotional gut punch after another. And yet these stories are stimulating to the intellect while also managing to hit that sweet spot where beauty and the strange wrap around one another to create something truly, unflinchingly, and even delicately weird. Slatsky is one of the very best we have, hands down.”
—Robert S. Wilson, Co-editor in Chief at Nightscape Press

“…a powerful voice tapped deep into the vein of both human and cosmic sorrow. These are stories that traverse crushing grief and malleable time, and Slatsky handles both the intimate and the numinous with a deft, incisive hand. …It’s really no wonder why Grimscribe chose Slatsky to throw them headfirst into the ring, so to speak, as this is a collection consistent in quality and diverse in content, unified by an unflinching pessimism that roils beneath its surface. And yet, it does not place itself above its characters—instead empathizing with their trials and the meaningless hurt they experience. The result is a deep, affecting resonance, matched only by the reader’s own horror of recognition.”
—Carson Winter, Signal Horizon

“Slatsky may also be the greatest visual stylist that horror fiction has ever known. He creates these perfect paragraphs, these incredible tableaus, of just mind-shattering power… After reading stories like  ‘Phantom Airfields’ or ‘The Carcass of the Lion’, which to me are some of the best horror fiction currently being written, you have to put the book down, kind of let what you just experienced soak in, come to terms with what you just read and try to understand the strange feelings you just had overwhelm you… Slatsky’s  walking terrors enter your psyche, it burrows so deep that it will be with you for the rest of your days.”
—Scott Dwyer, The Plutonian, editor of Pluto in Furs

 

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Author: Christopher Slatsky
Introduction by Kristine Ong Muslim
Cover Artist: Vergvoktre
Interior Illustrations: Käthe Kollwitz
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Published by Grimscribe Press