Format Hardcover
Publication Date 02/05/19
ISBN 9781643130118
Trim Size / Pages 6 x 9 in / 496

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More Deadly than the Male

Masterpieces from the Queens of Horror

Graeme Davis

A darkly luminous new anthology collecting the most terrifying horror stories by renowned female authors, presenting anew these forgotten classics to the modern reader.

Readers are well aware that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein: few know how many other tales of terror she created. In addition to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote some surprisingly effective horror stories. The year after Little Women appeared, Louisa May Alcott published one of the first mummy tales. These ladies weren’t alone. From the earliest days of Gothic and horror fiction, women were exploring the frontiers of fear, dreaming dark dreams that will still keep you up at night.

More Deadly than the Male includes unexpected horror tales by Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe, and forgotten writers like Mary Cholmondely and Charlotte Riddell, whose work deserves a modern audience. Readers will be drawn in by the familiar names and intrigued by their rare stories.

In The Beckside Boggle, Alice Rea brings a common piece of English folklore to hair-raising life, while Helene Blavatsky, best known as the founder of the spiritualist Theosophical Society, conjures up a solid and satisfying ghost story in The Cave of the Echoes. Edith Wharton’s great novel The Age of Innocence won her the Pulitzer prize, yet her horror stories are known only to a comparative few.

Readers will discover lost and forgotten women who wrote horror every bit as effectively as their male contemporaries. They will learn about their lives and careers, the challenges they faced as women working in a male-dominated field, the way they overcame those challenges, and the way they approached the genre—which was often subtler, more psychological, and more disturbing.

Graeme Davis began writing for tabletop role-playing games in the early 1980s and went on to work for almost all of the major publishers in that industry as a writer and editor. Among many other credits, he helped develop Games Workshop’s blockbuster Warhammer dark-fantasy franchise and the 90s Gothic hit Vampire: The Masquerade. Davis moved into the video games industry in the early 1990s and has created more than forty titles as a writer and game designer. His recent work includes the top-grossing 2012 mobile game Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North and two hit games based on Peter Jackson’s movie version of The Hobbit. From 2009 to 2015, Davis was line editor for Colonial Gothic, Rogue Games’ conspiracy-horror game set in early America. He worked on eleven titles which earned 4- and 5-star reviews on and elsewhere. This is his first book. He lives in Lafayette, Colorado.

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Endorsements & Reviews

"The 26 stories in this connoisseur’s compilation, all published between 1830 and 1908, are a testament to the role that women writers played in shaping early fantasy and horror fiction. Davis has done thoughtful literary excavation, and the stories he has selected are a trove of fantastic gems." Publishers Weekly
"A slice of women’s history, an examination of the evolution of horror, and an anthology of entertaining, creepy reads. Famous names in the collection will attract attention, like Louisa May Alcott, but it is the compelling and uneasy work of little-known authors like Eliza Lynn Linton or Mary E. Wilkins Freeman that will captivate readers." Booklist
"The chronologically arranged stories in the volume are of keen literary interest. They helped pave the way for the likes of Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, and Joyce Carol Oates. A fine reminder that even when literally and/or figuratively corseted, women could express themselves by putting pen to paper." Diabolique Magazine
"Exciting. This is an anthology that is as brilliant as it is entertaining, and will appeal to anyone with a fondness for dark fiction." Mystery Scene Magazine