Beneath a Pale Sky collects eight stories of horror, including two original novelettes, that will take you from the high-security ward of a mental hospital to the top of a Ferris Wheel on an ocean pier. These stories will bury you in the rubble of an earthquake, pull back the veil on a soul's journey into the afterlife, and turn a small midwestern town into the secret domain of cross-dimensional gods. Combining old-school horror with the modern weird, author Fracassi will take you places you've never been before, and show you sights you won't soon forget.
•All great weird fiction, whatever its subgenre, has one thing in common: it gets inside your head. The stories in this collection do that very thing in spades, delivering vividly unsettling imagery, incidents, and thematic content that infiltrates your mind, takes up residence there, and creeps back up on you later, when you least expect it. If you prefer light reading that passes quickly from your memory, leaving only the faintest of impressions, this isn't it. If you like stories that drag you in and cast a spell on you, never truly releasing their grip on your imagination, this is your jam. Fracassi's visions and voice seem to come from somewhere else, an eldritch place that perhaps you never knew existed before. Feast your mind on this set with abandon, but don't blame me when you can't shake the heebie jeebies it installs in your heart and soul. – Robert Jeschonek
"Readers of all stripes will find grace, humor, and some thoughtful reflections on life and death here. The rich, character-driven stories shine with elegantly crafted prose. This collection is one not to miss."– Library Journal, starred review
"One of the best collections I've read in a long while."– Christopher Golden
"Highlights the author's skill at capturing disasters, gore, and cosmic horror."– Publishers Weekly
"This is a collection that articulates the dark emotions of the genre itself...and the results are breathtaking...a must-read collection."– Booklist
Here's Rob and Mary, hand-in-hand, continuing their stroll toward the end of the pier. Smiling. Heading toward the sunset, wanting front-row seats. Rob looks to his left, past the roller coaster, up higher, higher.
The great wheel.
Already blushing neon-red in the husky haze of sundown, the wheel stands like a sentinel god, benevolent. But demanding sacrifice. The priest at its feet fills flesh into its rotating row of iron mouths, sending them up and around; stomachs sink as they go up and up and up. This high the people are ants on the boardwalk. Toy cars filing into rows back toward land. Distant seagulls are black drifting flakes of ash over the water…
But not yet. Not yet…
Rob and Mary walk past the great wheel. Butterflies flutter in his guts. It's on the wheel he'll show her the ring. It's at the top he'll ask for her hand. She'll say yes, and we'll kiss in our private cabin, high above the world.
The priest of the great wheel arrives unshaven, a former carnie wearing a ball cap and dark blue T-shirt. Black jeans and high tops. He readies the ride as the sun sinks, distant and bored, tired of this day. It slashes its own belly, bleeds fire into the cold sea. Seppuku sunset.