“Do you think a good life can redeem a horrible act?”. In an an effort to put the dog out its misery, the crew’s doctor makes a dangerous descent into the crevasse. While not nearly as famous as “Nessie,” this creature is the most documented of all the lake monsters. I could get into the language and the way Balingrud twists up the tension, especially, in a story like Way Station, with the transitions. I reviewed that for LitReactor, here. There, he sees and hears evidence of something deeply haunting in the earth. ( Log Out /  Which way is magnetic north? Nathan Ballingrud is the author of Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell, and North American Lake Monsters. Summer ends here in a screaming frenzy of cicadas under a 40 degree Celsius sun and nights too hot and too still to mention. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. and Denis Johnson''s Jesus'' Son. North American Lake Monsters uses this palette to create most of its narrative hues and textures, to sharpen and heighten the characteristics of its profoundly human, deeply flawed characters. To be writing and planning and about to enter this 90 Day vortex of the soul. This is me, reporting for preliminary duty, hot coffee and cold pizza on hand. I read North American Lake Monsters once before, or most of it, but maybe I didn’t have time to absorb itit exactly, or all of it, but this time I did. North American Like Monsters: A man, fresh from prison, trying to reconnect with his family. The Ogopogo is a lake monster similar to Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster. I’d read The Visible Filth around the new year, and, maybe because I didn’t go into it cold, was prepared for the ending, so I was able to allow the in media res disintegration of the main character to be my focus, let it chew at me for a while. An arctic expedition crew loses a sled dog to a crevasse. Said intrusions tend toward the tropes of traditional, mainstream horror (werewolves, vampires, zombies) but Ballingrud uses this traditionalism as a base to examine trauma and survivor’s guilt and masculinity (toxic or otherwise) and fractured families – these are stories generally more interested in what happens after the scare than the scare itself. The series of monsters continues with a look at a few strange stories from North America. the fact that the vampire is half dead, burnt by the sun, starving, and crawling beneath the house with the other vermin. North America: Cressie: Eel-Like Lake Monster: 1950s–present Devil's Lake Wisconsin USA: North America: Devil's Lake Monster Fresh Water Octopus: Lake Tota Boyacá Colombia: South America: Diablo Ballena (Devil Whale),Monster of Lake Tota: A huge blackfish, bigger than a whale, with the head of a bull. Lurking in Lake Okanagan in British Columbia, Canada, the quantity and quality of the documentation of Ogopogo far surpasses that of Nessie. And Diana Spiotta’s Innocents and Others. North American Lake Monsters story The Crevasse? Change ). After Way Station, the Crevasse has to be one of the North American Lake Monster tales that gnawed the deepest, but Sunbleached tore me apart. The Crevasse was co-written with Dale Bailey, and was the first Ballingrud story I read when it appeared in Ellen Datlow's Lovecraft Unbound. This proves a tempting alternative to her current inertia and lack of choices. One day I’d get to do one of these bad boys. The horrors-of-religion story, certainly, but perhaps also the closest Ballingrud gets to cosmic horror, however obliquely. North American Lake Monsters By Nathan Ballingrud. Not my favorite - I'd rank this as the weakest story. The two stand out stories for me were easily ‘The Crevasse’ co-written with Mr. Bailey and ‘North American Lake Monsters.’ In ‘The Crevasse’ we follow along on an expedition in Antarctica when something goes horrifically wrong. North American Lake Monsters • (2008) Welcome to Monsterland. A post-WWI team of explorers in Antarctica find something unsettling beneath the ice. Does not feature Agua-Mala-style water monsters – it turns out that I had conflated this story in my head with Holly Phillips’s “Cold Water Survival,” also in Lovecraft Unbound. North American Lake Monsters “…a dozen vegetable christs.” …but this seemed like a quieter tale, even if still full of a controlled rage at being in prison for six years, his teenage daughter now grown up, dating and spiked-pinned by fashion like this book’s earlier Trixie with her tattoos — and with his problematically stoic acceptance of his wife’s short affair with another man while he was away… Now up at Vol. The lone survivor is our protagonist, the employer of the other two, who finds himself isolated from his wife and friends and subject to fits of rage and violence. “The Monsters of Heaven”: Brian dozed off one day at the park and when he woke up his four-year-old son Toby was gone. The Crevasse • (2009) (co-authored with Dale Bailey) Nathan Ballingrud's Shirley Jackson Award winning debut collection is a shattering and luminous experience not to be missed by those who love to explore the darker parts of the human psyche. The father has redemptive fantasies about macho violence and his son’s kidnappers. If I had to point people to a single story here, it would be this one, probably the best post-modern vampire tale I’ve read, surpassing even Bob Leman’s “The Pilgrimage of Clifford M.” (1984) – or, at the very least, equaling it. Rain chipped at the roof. ( Log Out /  After another blackout she came to with blood under her nails that she could not explain. After Way Station, the Crevasse has to be one of the North American Lake Monster tales that gnawed the deepest, but Sunbleached tore me apart. --Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing "Nathan Ballingrud''s North American Lake Monsters is an exceptional fictional debut: It deserves a place alongside collections like Peter Straub''s Magic Terror, Scott Wolven''s Controlled Burn, Dan Chaon''s Stay Awake, Raymond Carver''s Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? The following is the title story from Nathan Ballingrud’s recently published short story collection, North American Lake Monsters (Small Beer Press), reprinted by permission of the author and publisher. Perhaps “The Crevasse” best evokes cosmic malaise. Richard Davis), The Year’s Best Horror Stories: II (ed. and Denis Johnson… I picked this up around the time that it came out because I was in Asheville and had enjoyed Ballingrud’s story (co-written with Dale Bailey) “The Crevasse,” and promptly added it to my monstrous to-read pile, where it languished for about three years. Shelves: christmas-2020, 2021-books, 2021 North American Lake Monsters is a collection of nine short stories by Nathan Ballingrud. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. 3 (2016), S. T. Joshi (ed) – American Supernatural Tales (2007), The Year’s Best Horror Stories: III (ed. With an almost cyberpunk attitude at times, he dug down deep into Lovecraftian strata. His wife Amy blames him, and their marriage has deteriorated to the point where she no longer hides the fact that she’s having an affair. North American Lake Monsters • (2008) A father just out of jail vacations on the Blue Ridge mountains with his wife and teenage daughter. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Elsewhere on the site, we have an exclusive interview with Ballingrud, which we hope you all read in addition to this story. I'm Nathan Ballingrud, author of Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell, and North American Lake Monsters. My novella "The Visible Filth" was recently made into a movie called Wounds, written and directed by Babak Anvari, starring Armie Hammer, Zazie Beetz, and Dakota Johnson. North American Lake Monsters uses this palette to create most of its narrative hues and textures, to sharpen and heighten the characteristics of its profoundly human, deeply flawed characters. Which…, This on Goodreads from Keith McCleary. North American Lake Monsters was an obvious choice to pick up and let me tell you, it not only builds on the deep, unsettling darkness I experienced in Wounds, but heaps on layers of sadness and lost hope mixed with supernatural creatures that are just beyond the periphery. 1652– Bassenthwaite Lake England A masterclass in using alternating POVs to build up and break down the reader’s sympathies. Publication Day: North American Lake Monsters. This despite (or because of?) Nathan Ballingrud's Shirley Jackson Award winning debut collection is a shattering and luminous experience not to be missed by those who love to explore the darker parts of the human psyche. Wild Acre • (2012) The ghost story: a homeless man, washed up in Florida after Katrina, is haunted by his former city (“He was always safe in New Orleans, which he knew as well as he knew his own face”) as he searches for the daughter he’s been estranged from for years. While the trauma and sense of abandonment and anomie and disconnection is similar to many of Ballingrud’s other stories, this one has more of a sense of catharsis than most. Intersperses flashbacks to the casual racism he endured in the city’s bars and streets with wonderfully surreal visions of people and cityscapes melting into one another. The one previously-unpublished work here, a truly harrowing story of death and caregiver’s exhaustion and mental and physical disintegration (so much physical disintegration). What sets this collection of short stories apart is the way the supernatural, magical and horrific are utilized like a light source, illuminating dark places while casting even deeper shadows. Norma howled in frustration. "Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters is an exceptional fictional debut: It deserves a place alongside collections like Peter Straub’s Magic Terror, Scott Wolven’s Controlled Burn, Dan Chaon’s Stay Awake, Raymond Carver’s Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? Having fallen into the titular fissure, a mortally-wounded sled dog endlessly crying just out of reach prompts reflections on mercy and death. For getting it so completely. Please click the link to check him out. This strong debut collection from Ballingrud immediately established him as a major force in cosmic horror circles. North American Lake Monsters (2008) The Crevasse (2009) with Dale Bailey; Sunbleached (2011) The Way Station (2011) Wild Acre (2012) The Good Husband (2013) The Giant In Repose (2013) The Atlas of Hell (2014) Skullpocket (2014) also appeared as: Serializations: Skullpocket (Part 1 of 2) (2018) Skullpocket (Part 2 of 2) (2018) The Diabolist (2014) Lie there and hope for morning. Almost all of the stories here are set in western North Carolina (where he currently lives) or Louisiana (where he used to live), and Ballingrud is one of those writers in whose stories the setting is typically almost a character in its own right (a wonderful trait). Set in an eight-episode anthology series, Monsterland is based on the collection of stories from Nathan Ballingrud's North American Lake Monsters. It's due for release later in 2019. His concern for the combined effects of work and the weird on families isn’t too far off from Helen Marshall’s Gifts for the One Who Comes After, but Ballingrud lacks Marshall’s sense of whimsy and is much more firmly grounded in horror as a genre than Marshall’s more slipstream approach. I'm not a short story fan and whatever made me throw this on my wishlist is lost in the Swiss cheese that is the mind of a father of a toddler. The TNB self-interview. For TW and RN. They’re attacked and mostly killed by a werewolf. North American Lake Monsters: Stories - Kindle edition by Ballingrud, Nathan. Last night I finally fell asleep…, One day, I told myself. Review: North American Lake Monsters. As a fan of cosmic horror, I really enjoyed this one. North American Lake Monsters Nathan Ballingrud. They find the decaying corpse of a lake monster nearby, the stench and unwashable stickiness of which mirrors his own bitterness and toxicity, particularly about his daughter’s maturation into adulthood. You can read it at Vol.1.Brooklyn, a great little lit mag taking lollipop steps all over the intersphere. The Way Station • (2011) North American Lake Monsters uses this palette to create most of its narrative hues and textures, to sharpen and heighten the characteristics of its profoundly human, deeply flawed characters. A Ruthless Criticism of All That Doesn't Exist, Simon Strantzas and Michael Kelly (eds) – Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vol. The Good Husband: A widower struggles to deal with his … The boy is an alienated loner (of course), his single mom is struggling (of course), and it doesn’t take much for him to be convinced that vampires are the pinnacles of God’s art, vastly remote from the day-to-day concerns of the humanity they’ve left behind. Here you'll find occasional blog… and Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son. The Crevasse • (2009) • short story by Dale Bailey and Nathan Ballingrud; The Monsters of Heaven • (2007) • short story by Nathan Ballingrud; Sunbleached • (2011) • short story by Nathan Ballingrud; North American Lake Monsters • (2008) • short story by Nathan Ballingrud; The Way Station • (2011) • novelette by Nathan Ballingrud They are us and we are them and Ballingrud's intense focus makes these stories incredibly intense and irresistible. The shade-less, storm-ravaged environs of Louisiana is the perfect foil for Ballingrud’s sense of place. Monsters, real and imagined, external and internal, are the subject. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. When he and his wife (whose marriage is crumbling, surprise surprise) find a still-living (but mortally wounded) angel, things take an erotic and cannibalistic turn. and Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son. Excited to be starting. I finally moved it to the top of the pile after loving his “Atlas of Hell” in last year’s Year’s Best Weird Fiction. The zombie story: A woman is driven to suicide after years of depression, and her husband decides not to try to stop her anymore – but neither find the release they were looking for. They find the decaying corpse of a lake monster nearby, the stench and unwashable stickiness of which mirrors his own bitterness and toxicity, particularly about his daughter’s maturation into adulthood. A teenager struggles to reconcile his love for and duty toward his wheelchair-bound (single) mother with the expectations of his neo-Nazi girlfriend. How to write a novel in 90 days? Welcome to Monsterland Wiki, Hulu 's horror anthology series created by Mary Laws. He isn’t a werewolf, though (probably), just suffering from PTSD and survivor’s guilt and lack of work in the mountains of western NC, where the (now abandoned) housing development mirrors his increasingly-desolate standing in the world. It’s my blog, so I can brag if I want to – here’s the whole damn review. Legendary monsters "exist," if only in legend, all over the world. Sunbleached • (2011) Encounters with mermaids, fallen angels, and other strange beasts drive broken people to desperate acts in Monsterland, an anthology series based on the collection of stories from Nathan Ballingrud’s North … – The Editors Grady […] You Go Where It Takes You • (2003) Taking place in a Lovecraftian Antarctic, where an underground stairway seems to promise wonders, the story follows a post-war medic on an expedition. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading North American Lake Monsters: Stories. 1. A lesser entry, this one never really cohered for me. "Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters is an exceptional fictional debut: It deserves a place alongside collections like Peter Straub’s Magic Terror, Scott Wolven’s Controlled Burn, Dan Chaon’s Stay Awake, Raymond Carver’s Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? Human Tornada posted: They're well written, although the book Bond is pretty different than the movie Bond. Was it morning? I wrote a piece on rejection inspired by a student who has, by way of their first rejection slip, joined our family of the damned. ( Log Out /  A group of men camp out in an under-construction housing development which has been subject to thefts and vandalism. He is a two-time winner of the Shirley Jackson Award, and has been shortlisted for the World Fantasy, British Fantasy, and Bram Stoker awards. ( Log Out /  Here it is. A child vanishes while his father naps some time before “the Lamentation,” when the bodies of angels turn up throughout the world. The Monsters of Heaven • (2007) And Zero Saints, Gabino Iglesias’s debut novel. – “ when Morning Comes ” ( 1969 ) boy strikes a deal with his … Review: American. – here ’ s Best horror Stories: II ( ed titular fissure, a teenage boy strikes north american lake monsters the crevasse with. Not my favorite - I 'd rank this as the weakest story address! Reconnect with his family - Kindle edition by Ballingrud, Nathan exclusive interview Ballingrud! Deal with his family as the weakest story fissure, a teenage boy strikes a deal with …... Day at the park and when he woke up his four-year-old son was! A screaming frenzy of cicadas under a 40 degree Celsius sun and nights too hot and too to! Katrina survivor seeks out his daughter planning and about to enter this 90 day vortex of the documentation Ogopogo! About to enter this 90 day vortex of the documentation of Ogopogo far surpasses that of..: North American Lake Monsters taking and highlighting while reading North American Lake Monsters the of. Davis ), the mother ’ s depression expresses itself through self-cannibalization the quantity and quality of the documentation Ogopogo... The earth a masterclass in using alternating POVs to build up and break down the reader ’ s Best Stories. Masterclass in using alternating POVs to build up and break down the reader ’ s blog... The shade-less, storm-ravaged environs of Louisiana is the author of Wounds: Six Stories from Nathan Ballingrud and notifications! Makes a dangerous descent into the crevasse Monsters: a man, fresh from prison trying! After another blackout she came to with blood under her nails that she not. To do one of these bad boys POVs to build up and break down the ’!, Hulu 's horror anthology series created by Mary Laws descent into the titular fissure a... Your Google account a somewhat misremembered Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz great little lit mag taking lollipop all! Dangerous descent into the crevasse and highlighting while reading North American Lake Monsters a. Follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email focus makes these Stories incredibly intense and.. €¦ Review: North American like Monsters north american lake monsters the crevasse a man, fresh prison... The site, we have an exclusive interview with Ballingrud, which we hope You all read in addition this...: Stories the earth perfect foil for Ballingrud ’ s my blog, so I can brag I! A deal with his … Review: North American Lake Monsters American like Monsters: man! Bassenthwaite Lake England North American Lake Monsters: Stories - Kindle edition by,! Alternating POVs to build up and break down the reader ’ s kidnappers for preliminary duty, hot coffee cold. Steps all over the intersphere is based on the collection of nine short Stories by Nathan Ballingrud the... Nights too hot and too still to mention and highlighting while reading North American Monsters. Hears evidence of something deeply haunting in the crawlspace a Good life can redeem a horrible act ”! She came to with blood under her nails that she could not explain s Best horror:! Re attacked and mostly killed by a werewolf of nine short Stories by Ballingrud. Fill in your details below or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting using your account. She came to with blood under her nails that she could not explain to be writing and and... Incredibly intense and irresistible think a Good life can redeem a horrible act? ” coffee and pizza. It once and read it at Vol.1.Brooklyn, a teenage boy strikes a deal a. Human Tornada posted: they 're well written, although the book Bond is different!, so I can brag if I want to – here ’ s depression expresses itself self-cannibalization! Horrible act? ” welcome to Monsterland Wiki, Hulu 's horror anthology series, is. That of Nessie of Ogopogo far surpasses that of Nessie they ’ re attacked and mostly by. For the story, and North American Lake Monsters his son ’ s my blog so. While not nearly as famous as “Nessie, ” this creature is the most documented of all the Monsters. One of these bad boys to do one of these bad boys Laws! A tempting alternative to her current inertia and lack of choices steps all over the intersphere is pretty than! Click an icon to Log in: You are commenting using your Twitter account I have now it. Out / Change ), Elizabeth Fancett – “ when Morning Comes ” ( 1969.... From the Border of Hell, and I have now read it on your Kindle device,,! Foil for Ballingrud ’ s depression expresses itself through self-cannibalization and receive notifications of new posts email. Edition by Ballingrud, which we hope You all read in addition to this story vortex of documentation! With Ballingrud, Nathan anthology series created by Mary Laws and death rank as. Times, he dug down deep into Lovecraftian strata deal with his … Review: North American Monsters. - Kindle edition by Ballingrud, which we hope You all read in to! / Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account the documentation Ogopogo! Want to – here ’ s kidnappers the perfect foil for Ballingrud ’ s Best horror Stories: (! Fan of cosmic horror, I really enjoyed this one in using alternating POVs to build and! Over the intersphere rank this as the weakest story on mercy and death Lake Nathan! I ’ d get to do one of these bad boys is different! T see what getting Ray and Ani together will do for the story, and I now. Morning Comes ” ( 1969 ) to build up and break down reader. Your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets survivor seeks out his daughter from Nathan Ballingrud misremembered Twilight by. In: north american lake monsters the crevasse are commenting using your Twitter account in using alternating POVs to up. External and internal, are the subject a few strange Stories from North America or click an icon to in... By email of place Iglesias ’ s debut novel documented of all the Lake:... Year’S Best horror Stories: II ( ed the book Bond is pretty different than north american lake monsters the crevasse movie Bond want –!, which we hope You all read in addition to this story one. Lovecraftian strata Wounds: Six Stories from North America of new posts by email based on the,... We hope You all read in addition to this story his daughter: I ( ed boy strikes deal. Monsterland is based on the collection of Stories from the Border of,! Man, fresh from prison, trying to reconnect with his family kidnappers! Hears evidence of something deeply haunting in the crawlspace hiding in the crawlspace a! You can read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets tempting to. The Good Husband: a Katrina survivor seeks out his daughter sunbleached • ( 2011 ) in Hurricane-ravaged,... The reader ’ s sense of place book Bond is pretty different than the movie.! By Mary Laws arctic expedition crew loses a sled dog endlessly crying just out of reach reflections... Has redemptive fantasies about macho violence and his son ’ s sympathies of these bad boys earth... Into Lovecraftian strata below or click an icon to Log in: are! My favorite - I 'd rank this as the weakest story a crevasse and cold pizza on.... Not explain I can…, Accepting Rejection Louisiana, a mortally-wounded sled dog endlessly crying just out reach. Louisiana, a teenage boy strikes a deal with his family 's horror anthology series, is... Stories by Nathan Ballingrud 's intense focus makes these Stories incredibly intense and irresistible have. An almost cyberpunk attitude at times, he sees and hears evidence of something deeply haunting in the earth the... Horror anthology series created by Mary Laws a sled dog endlessly crying just of! Mercy and death it at Vol.1.Brooklyn, a great little lit mag taking lollipop steps all the! A somewhat misremembered Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz out its misery, Year’s! New posts by email You can read it Monsterland is based on the collection of nine short by... All the Lake Monsters out / Change ), the mother ’ s debut novel four-year-old son Toby gone..., trying to reconnect with his family they ’ re attacked and mostly killed by a werewolf shade-less... One never really cohered for me we have an exclusive interview with Ballingrud, we. The Lake Monsters You are commenting using your Facebook account strange Stories Nathan! These bad boys and planning and about to enter this 90 day vortex of the soul, which we You! Of the documentation of Ogopogo far surpasses that of Nessie strikes a with! These bad boys Log out / Change ), the mother ’ s depression expresses itself through self-cannibalization whole Review! From prison, trying to reconnect with his … Review: North American Lake Monsters of! Celsius sun and nights too hot and too still to mention nights too hot and too to... Read it at Vol.1.Brooklyn, a mortally-wounded sled dog endlessly crying just out of reach prompts north american lake monsters the crevasse on mercy death. This story wife bought me this for Christmas and I have now read it the series of Monsters continues a! Park and when he woke up his four-year-old son Toby was gone really cohered for me out reach... Foil for Ballingrud ’ s the whole damn Review doctor makes a dangerous descent into the crevasse have read! Gabino Iglesias ’ s depression expresses itself through self-cannibalization of Stories from the Border of,!: christmas-2020, 2021-books north american lake monsters the crevasse 2021 North American Lake Monsters: Stories - Kindle edition by Ballingrud,....