The Age of Decayed Futurity: The Best of Mark Samuels [PREORDER]


  • Foreword by Michael Dirda
  • Cover artwork by Aeron Alfrey (draft cover shown)
  • Cover design by Kevin I. Slaughter
  • ISBN: 978-1-61498-303-3
  • Paperback: 267 pages
  • August 2020


"Overall, Samuels likes to play with notions typically associated with the science fiction of Philip K. Dick: How can we distinguish between what is real and what isn’t? Who is human or alive and who isn’t? Might everything around us be a Potemkin Village, masking cosmic nothingness or some horrific truth?"—from Michael Dirda's foreword




For the past two decades, British author Mark Samuels has written some of the most vibrant and challenging weird fiction of any contemporary writer. But his work—collected in such volumes as The White Hands and Other Weird Tales (2003), The Man Who Collected Machen (2010), and Written in Darkness (2014)—has by and large appeared in limited editions not widely distributed in the United States.


This volume features seventeen of Samuels’s best weird stories. Several display his fascination with technology, advertising, and urban horror, as in “Apartment 205” and the title story. Other tales speak of the writing of weird fiction itself as a potentially hazardous and supernatural enterprise, as in “The White Hands” and “Vrolyck.”  


In several of his lengthier narratives—notably “The Gentleman from Mexico” and “The Crimson Fog”—Samuels draws upon H. P. Lovecraft’s pseudomythology to venture into realms of cosmic horror. “The Black Mould” and “My World Has No Memories” are distinctively existential tales of undeniable potency.  


Table of Contents

Foreword, by Michael Dirda
Mannequins in Aspects of Terror
The White Hands
Apartment 205
Cesare Thodol: Some Lines Written on a Wall
A Gentleman from Mexico
The Black Mould
Regina vs. Zoskia
The Age of Decayed Futurity
My World Has No Memories
Outside Interference
The Crimson Fog
Court of Midnight
In the Complex