Engines of Desire - Livia Llewellyn

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Publisher: Lethe Press

Categories: horror; LGBT;

This book is a nominee for the Shirley Jackson Awards.

“Livia Llewellyn is a gifted new author who can write disturbing and fascinating stories which are difficult to forget. She isn’t afraid to shock her readers with imaginative but brutally realistic visions about death, sex and love – in her stories these three ingredients go hand in hand and wondrous and horrifying things happen. I think it’s fair to say that this collection is pure ecstasy for all lovers of dark, disturbing and challenging speculative fiction.” —RisingShadow.net

Death and pleasure. Freud’s Todestrieb, his statement that “libido has the task of making the destroying instinct innocuous, and it fulfills the task by diverting that instinct to a great extent outwards....The instinct is then called the destructive instinct, the instinct for mastery, or the will to power.” Few authors have spun stories of Thanatos and Eros as skillfully and powerfully as Livia Llewellyn.

In his introduction to this volume, Laird Barron writes “Scant difference exists between exquisite pleasure and pain.” An orphan girl with a mind for anthracite falls into the hands of a cult worshiping an entombed god. In the Pacific Northwest, evergreens lull prepubescent girls into their trunks to serve as wombs. A suburban housewife troubled by her present encounters the sixteen-year-old girl she ached to touch in her dreams. These ten stories promise to indulge the reader’s sensibilities, their fears and desires.

“Her stories are about as bleak and uncompromising as any I’ve read, the characters fully formed, conflicted, beautifully flawed. I read ‘Horses’ in manuscript form years ago and was amazed by its equal portion of compassion and brutality. The end is devastating, and masterfully earned. I am looking forward to this book perhaps more than any other this year.” —Nathan Ballingrud

Livia Llewellyn was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and grew up in Tacoma, Washington. In 1994 she moved to Manhattan, working various odd jobs in coffee shops, bookstores, theatres and movie sets until finding her calling as secretary-by-day in the oldest publishing company in America, and writer-by-night of erotica and dark fiction.

To read some extracts from the book click here.