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In this deliciously strange debut collection, Leon Craig draws on folklore and gothic horror in refreshingly inventive ways to explore queer identity, love, power and the complicated nature of being human.

Some say that hell is other people and some say hell is loneliness . . .

In the thirteen darkly audacious stories of Parallel Hells we meet a golem, made of clay, learning that its powers far exceed its Creator’s expectations; a ruined mansion which grants the secret wishes of a group of revellers and a notorious murderer who discovers her Viking husband is not what he seems.

Asta is an ancient being who feasts on the shame of contemporary Londoners, who now, beyond anything, wishes only to fit in with a group of friends they will long outlive. An Oxford historian, in bitter competition with the rest of her faculty members, discovers an ancient tome whose sinister contents might solve her problems. Livia orchestrates a Satanic mass to distract herself from a recently remembered trauma and two lovers must resolve their differences in order to defy a lethal curse.

Reviews

Craig's collection dances with horror - the monster is not always who you expect. A book for anyone who likes to play in the dark.
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan (November 2021)
Trust me: you want to read this. It's the queer horror book of your dreams.
Kirsty Logan (November 2021)
Both vibrantly contemporary and decadently gothic, the stories in Parallel Hells shimmer with queer power and wicked humour. At times I was reminded of the darkly wondrous work of Ramona Ausubel, Kelly Link, Patrick McGrath or Patrick Suskind -- but Leon Craig has a distinctively Dionysian literary sensibility that is all her own, and I can't wait to read everything she writes!
Sharlene Teo (November 2021)
By turns dark, sharp, witty and tender, I'm a huge fan of Leon Craig's writing, and the way she reveals the complex dance of beauty and brutality in our innermost, most vulnerable selves.
Naomi Ishiguro (November 2021)