- Author: Gary A. Braunbeck
- Artist: Deena Warner
- Page Count: 218
- Pub. Date: August 2006
- ISBN: 1-58767-085-2
- Status: Out of Print
by Gary A. Braunbeck
About the Book:
A brand new collection of original dark fiction concerning itself with people, cars, and the open road.
In the novella "The Ballad of Road Mama and Daddy Bliss", a man assigned community service duty with the city morgue after a DUI arrest is offered a simple deal: transport an old woman's body back to her hometown, and his record will be wiped clean. But this is no typical old woman, and — as he soon discovers — he is taking her to a town that is on no map. The old woman's identity, as well as the reasons behind the town's secret existence, will be revealed to him over the course of a few nightmarish hours between midnight and dawn — the time when The Road demands its sacrifices.
In "Congestion", a man who has hated cars all his life finds himself stuck in a traffic jam on a sweltering hot day... a very different type of traffic jam.
In "Merge Right", a businessman on a long road trip comes to a long and lonely stretch of highway where every sign he passes orders him to MERGE RIGHT. There are no exits in sight, no other cars, no sign of civilization... and there is something very strange about the scenes appearing in his rearview mirror.
"...this collection reinforces Braunbeck's reputation as one of the more
inventive contemporary writers cultivating the dark fantasy terrain."
— Publishers Weekly
"The road will never be the same following Gary Braunbeck's suspense filled
horror novella ("The Ballad of Road Mama and Daddy Bliss") and two
psychological ghostly shorts. All three tales keeps the audience reading while
wondering what is really going on. At the final destination, fans will simply
know the next signpost has to be in the Twilight Zone as Mr. Braunbeck provides
three thrillers that Rod Serling would have appreciated."
"Anyone who's ever suffered through a traffic jam or experienced the mixture
of exhilaration and exhaustion that comes with a long road trip will be able
to appreciate the love/hate relationship the characters herein have with their
vehicles. 'The Ballad of Road Mama and Daddy Bliss' is the standout of the book...
The narrator's voice is engaging, the servants of the highway gods are creepy
as hell and satisfyingly complex, and the plot ticks along like a well-tuned
Gary A. Braunbeck was born in Newark, Ohio (the city that serves as the model for the fictitious Cedar Hill in many of his stories) in July of 1960. A Recovering Catholic who once briefly studied for the priesthood, Gary can usually be found holed up in his office writing stories and novels in any number of genres. He has worked as a grocery store clerk, a carny "stick," an animal groomer, a cable television salesman (a job at which he lasted one day), a bartender, a waiter, a short-order cook, an habilitation supervisor for developmentally disabled adults, an actor (specifically Summer Stock and Dinner Theatre, as well as being an extra in one movie and one television mini-series), a janitor (several stints at that one), a musician, a newspaper reporter, a clown for childrens' birthday parties, and is currently a Creative Writing instructor with Seton Hill College where he teaches in an innovative Master's Degree program in Writing Popular Fiction.
Published as a:
• Limited Edition of 1,000 signed copies ($40)