T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S
- Foreword (Sarah Langan)
- Like Light for Flies (Original to the collection)
- Comfortable in Her Skin (First appeared in Supernatural Noir)
- The Butcher’s Block (Original to the collection)
- Testify (First appeared in Blood Splattered and Politically Incorrect)
- The Dodd Contrivance (First appeared in Swallowed by the Cracks)
- Flicker (First appeared in The Horror Library, Vol. 4)
- Inside Where It’s Warm (First appeared in Dead Set)
- Nothing Forgiven (First appeared in Darkness on the Edge)
- Fine in the Fire (Original to the collection)
- The House by the Park (First appeared in Tales from the Den)
- Turtle (First appeared in Doorways Magazine- Stoker Nominee)
- Landfall ’35: A Prequel to Parish Damned (Original to the collection)
- Tuesday (First appeared in Bits of the Dead)
R E V I E W S
* “In this gripping horror collection, Thomas (Ash Street) slices open the underbelly of human nature with surgical precision to offer an unforgettable glimpse at the horrors just inside. Though sometimes the protagonists’ homosexuality is almost incidental, many of the stories are driven by the unhappy places in gay culture and the terrible effects of bigotry. In “The Butcher’s Block,” the focus on youth and anonymity in cruising culture lets a ritual of devouring the elderly thrive. “Inside Where It’s Warm,” is an appeal for belonging rather than fighting, even if the in-group is a zombie horde. In “Fine in the Fire,” there’s nothing supernatural at all, just a man driven insane by a contraption his father builds to cure him of his gayness. Thomas’s monsters aren’t unfathomable creatures from the great beyond; they’re people in power, driven by hate and desperation, given just enough supernatural resources so that they can win. He drops the reader into an uncanny place where the everyday, self-destructive psychology of the lost and miserable is bolstered by inhuman powers, and the terror comes as much from within as without.”
— Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW (June)
"Bram Stoker and Lambda Literary Award-winning author Lee Thomas is back with a gripping slew of atmospheric, bone-chilling shorts in Like Light for Flies… A truly terrifying and uncomfortable read, Thomas doesn't shy away from gore, violence or brutal imagery. More than that, however, Like Light for Flies is worth checking out for its thought-provoking and uninhibited look at some of the worst qualities of the human condition. Not for the faint of heart — or the optimistic. "
— Jessa Sobczuk, Rue Morgue Magazine #135
"I expected a lot from [Thomas’s] short story collection, Like Light for
Flies, and he exceeded those expectations with room to spare…Nothing is
as it appears on the surface or should be taken for granted. Thomas constructs
his worlds brick by bloody brick mortared together with enough normalcy to make
his twists and turns seem that much odder. Like Light for Flies is a
collection of nightmares real enough to be dreamt tonight. Damn fine reading
from a most excellent writer."
— Jerry Wheeler, Out in Print
"This collection of horror shorts wastes no time. By page two, Thomas exposes readers to gore, chaos, and mystery. Hellions with jagged, shattered teeth rip into the flesh of victims. A hostage utters a single word and turns his captor insane. An injured survivor experiences a transformation into zombiedom. A man is enveloped by the skin of a deceased female criminal, and becomes a twisted version of her. The non-squeamish who crave horror will be sated."
— OUTSmart Magazine
"Lee Thomas’ expertly crafted Like Light for Flies is horror literature at its best: intense, gripping, and weirdly beautiful. These visceral and violent nightmares haunt and disturb, lingering long after the initial reading."
— Jeff Mann
“It's only going to get worse, one of Lee Thomas's characters tells another, in his bold new collection Like Light For Flies...and believe you me, it does. Yet Thomas writes so beautifully and immediately that he can make the most atrocious images seem not only familiar, but somehow welcoming. His is a world of dreadful pleasures and awful delights, wreathed in meat and muck, driven by odd desires. The characters in these tales are universally broken people, flawed in ways every reader will understand if not entirely sympathize with, and the fates they meet are often exactly as cruel as they are just. And again: nothing forgotten and nothing forgiven, reads the (slightly paraphrased) last line of one story, a quote that could well be Thomas's motto, the overarching philosophical thread behind his work—since most readers will, indeed, find it hard to do either.”
— Gemma Files
"Lee Thomas is stylish, witty, erotic – and when he wants to be, utterly terrifying. These twelve stories occupy a modern open-plan house with James Purdy and George Romero as neighbours. They are rooted in genuine, carefully observed human dilemmas and conflicts — and then they take you inside, where the demons crawl and madness paints the scenery. Thomas knows how the lies we tell ourselves and the betrayals we live with can destroy us from within. He weaves beautiful, twisted fables from the raw materials of desire and loss. This book is a fridge stocked with twelve different flavours of ice-cream — each of them perfectly chilled, none of them vanilla."
— Joel Lane
“Lee Thomas writes with an artist’s skill and a revolutionary’s heart. His prose entertains, cuts, inspires, and terrorizes. With Like Light for Flies, Thomas continues to prove himself as a master of his craft, planting a flag at the top of the horror genre and daring pretenders to climb to such heights.”
— Nate Southard