The Descent and Other Strange Stories

Weird House Press (2021)

In these eleven tales, a scout leader returns to the camp where he last believed in monsters—and finds one. A neglected statue seeks solitude in the cold and the deep. A mid-19th century woman receives a letter from the 21st century. A teenager living in a dead rock star’s house is haunted by his songs. A child is transmogrified into a living family tree. A dying writer receives a visit from a most unlikely critic. A house makes a sacrifice for itself and for its neighborhood . . .

There are tidal waves of trash, predatory pictures, and ditch spirits who lure young boys. The present pulsates with vengeful pasts and is contacted by dubious futures. There are surrenders to the dark, but there is also redemption in the light of long dead and bioluminescent stars.

PRAISE FOR JOSHUA REX

“I love to read Josh Rex. He’s the poet’s novelist. Dark, funny, mysterious–Josh creates pages that are a joy to get lost in. I would lavish more praise on him if I weren’t so jealous of his writing.”

NY TIMES BEST-SELLING NOVELIST THOMAS LENNON

“From the stark warning for our times in the first story to the poetic beauty of the last paragraph, this is a collection that won’t fail to impress, intrigue and enthrall. Joshua Rex is a fantastic new talent with a deep appreciation of history, an eye for the telling metaphor and above all a flair for storytelling.”

SHIRLEY JACKSON AWARD-WINNER ALISON LITTLEWOOD

“Joshua Rex’s stylistic execution is both distinct and discrete, deftly-crafting tales that coax his audience into a sort of uncanny collusion. The stories collected in The Descent and Other Strange Stories entangle the reader like a winding sheet.”

– CLINT SMITH, AUTHOR OF THE SKELETON MELODIES

“There are very few writers about whom one can say that they are a pleasure to read regardless of subject-matter, but Joshua Rex is one of them. There is a sheer intelligence to his writing that is highly impressive. He wields a prose style of admirable fluency, elegance, and emotive power, and his weird conceptions are strikingly original and vital. I hope The Descent and Other Strange Stories brings Joshua Rex many new and appreciative readers.”

– S. T. JOSHI

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