Tor.com Publishing is proud to announce that consulting editor Ellen Datlow has acquired World English rights to Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones. The deal was negotiated by BJ Robbins of BJ Robbins Literary Agency. In this contemporary horror novella, a teen prank goes very wrong and all hell breaks loose: is there a supernatural cause, a psychopath on the loose, or both?
Said the author:
I grew up on Jason and Freddy and Michael, so when Scream came along, it kind of turned all my compulsive rewatching of every slasher I could find into homework, into preparation—into something honest, not illicit. But it’s not the Golden Age anymore, and the post-Scream slasher boom is twenty years gone, and it all kind of left me washed up on some shore I never expected, iridescent videotape tangled all around me, the ship I was on just a dot on the horizon, now. There’s still wonderful stuff happening at the box office and streaming, of course, and the slasher shelf is far from dead, will never in fact die, I suspect, since special effects are cheap on the page, but what I’ve been waiting for, standing there on my desert island, reciting Billy and Stu lines, closing my eyes and going ki-ki-ki, ma-ma-ma, is a slasher that engages that tried and true slasher build, but in a way I haven’t seen. And it’s not about the mask, it’s not about the weapon, it’s not about the score. Or, it is, it always is, whether on-screen or in ink. But there’s something else, too, I think. There’s other possibilities. Night of the Mannequins is maybe one of them. What I tried to do with it is build something new that doesn’t dismiss what’s come before. Really, I guess, I just want to pay back into the system that’s given so much—that’s given me so much. That’s what Night of the Mannequins is for me: a love letter. Just, one written in blood. Lots and lots of blood, some of it my own.
I’m thrilled to be working on it with Ellen Datlow. She took Mapping the Interior and made it into something real, something that found a lot of you. Here’s hoping Night of the Mannequins finds a place on your shelf as well. Better yet, your closet, or under your bed.
Said editor Ellen Datlow:
I’m so excited to have acquired and to be working with Stephen again on Night of the Mannequins, his second novella for Tor.com Publishing. He’s an expert at getting into the interior lives of his characters, no matter how disturbing the undercurrents may be.
Stephen Graham Jones is the author of seventeen novels and six story collections. His novella Mapping the Interior, published by Tor.com Publishing, won the Bram Stoker Award for Long Fiction. Coming next is the novel Elk Head Woman from Saga Press. Stephen lives and teaches in Boulder, Colorado.