A Song for Quiet

A Song for Quiet

3.88 (852 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Deacon James is a rambling bluesman straight from Georgia, a black man with troubles that he can't escape, and music that won't let him go. On a train to Arkham, he meets trouble - visions of nightmares, gaping mouths and grasping tendrils, and a madman who calls himself John Persons. According to the stranger, Deacon is carrying a seed in his head, a thing that will destroy the world if he lets it hatch. The mad ravings chase Deacon to his next gig. His saxophone doesn't call up his audience from their seats, it calls up monstrosities from across dimensions. As Deacon flees, chased by horrors and cultists, he stumbles upon a runaway girl, who is trying to escape the destiny awaiting her. Like Deacon, she carries something deep inside her, something twisted and dangerous. Together, they seek to leave Arkham, only to find the Thousand Young lurking in the woods. The song in Deacon's head is growing stronger, and soon he won't be able to ignore it any more.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 112 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 8mm | 95g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0765397404
  • 9780765397409
  • 380,214

Review quote

A Song for Quiet is a moving story of music, monsters and grief. --Victor LaValle, author of The Ballad of Black Tom

Khaw continues to demonstrate mastery of seductive short-form horror, juxtaposing the disgusting and relentlessly terrifying with moments of exquisite beauty in ways that make it impossible to look away. --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Gritty, unflinching, and unexpected, A Song for Silence has an infectious Blues rhythm that's impossible to ignore." --Angela Slatter, World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings


A glorious fusion of the classic noir detective thriller with Lovecraftian horror. Possibly the most promising horror debut of 2016, a suitable light in these dark times. --Charles Stross, author of the Laundry Files

Cassandra Khaw's explosive, evocative prose is a treat to read. Khaw's ability to transform the mundane into the deeply phantasmagorical is nothing short of magical. Prepare to take a long leap into the gory, the weird, and the fantastic in the hands of a fresh new voice in fiction. --Kameron Hurley, Hugo Award-winning author of Mirror Empire and The Geek Feminist Revolution

The drearily everyday is infused with Lovecraftian dread in a marvelously horrifying, tightly built novella that spins a satisfying tale while doing honor to both of its core sources. --Publishers Weekly, starred review

Khaw paints a bleak yet potent alternate reality in which monsters--friend or foe--are devastatingly real. Persons strikes a perfect antihero stance that is emotionally fragile despite his supernatural power. Hammers on Bone is a brilliant blend of two venerable genres as well as a deeply affecting tale on its own. --Shelf Awareness, starred review

Khaw has a definite flair for the grotesque. --RT Book Reviews

Sizzling prose over a steamy noir beat with horrific monstrosities throughout. A helluva read. --Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper and Midnight Taxi Tango

Hammers on Bone is a delectable surprise, a discomfiting nightmare in novella shape, its eyes looking back at you to ask: who are the real monsters, little reader? --Book Smugglers

Absolutely fantastic monsters-meet-gritty-noir story. --Mike Laidlaw, creative director for Dragon Age

"Atmospheric Lovecraftian noir with a really tremendous eye for detail... If you like Dashiel Hammett and Lovecraft, this is a very effective blend." --Aliette de Bodard, Nebula Award-winning author of The House of Shattered Wings

This is jolly good. You really ought to read this. --Jonathan L. Howard, author of the Johannes Cabal and Carter & Lovecraft series

So hardboiled you could crack demon heads with it, this twisting and turning Lovecraftian PI mystery is a delight. Cassandra Khaw -- fast becoming one of the hottest names in fantasy fiction -- has a light, assured touch and an inimitable style. I'll read anything they write. --Lavie Tidhar, World Fantasy Award-winning author of A Man Lies Dreaming and The Violent Century

Cassandra Khaw blows the dust off Lovecraft's prose to resurrect the Elder Gods in a white-hot, eyeball-popping adventure. --Ferrett Steinmetz, author of Flex

Khaw is one of the most exciting writers I've seen emerge in the past two years. [Hammers on Bone] is Lovecraftian in all the best ways. --Silvia Moreno-Garcia, author of Certain Dark Things

One hell of a delicious, hardbitten, unflinching experience. --Alyssa Wong, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author of Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers
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About Cassandra Khaw

CASSANDRA KHAW writes horror, press releases, video games, articles about video games, and tabletop RPGs. These are not necessarily unrelated items. Her work can be found in professional short story magazines such as Clarkesworld, Fireside Fiction, Uncanny, and the scientific journal Nature. Cassandra's first original novella Hammers on Bone came out in October 2016. To her mild surprise, people seem to enjoy it.
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Rating details

852 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 27% (231)
4 42% (361)
3 23% (200)
2 6% (51)
1 1% (9)
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