Plow the Bones

With an artist’s eye for language and form, Douglas F. Warrick sculpts surreal topiary landscapes out of dream worlds made coherent. Dip into a story that is self-aware and wishes it were different than what it must be. Recount a secret held by a ventriloquist’s dummy.
Wander a digital desert with an AI as sentience sparks revolution. Follow a golem band that dissolves over the love of a groupie.

In these pages, interdimensional lampreys feed on a dying man’s most precious memories, and a manga artist’s sketches remake Osaka into part fantasy, part nightmare. Combining elements of fantasy, magical realism and horror, the collection floats on a distinctly literary voice that is creepy, surreal, and just plain weird.

With a special introduction by Gary A. Braunbeck.

Table of Contents
Apex Voices: What Do You Hear? — Jason Sizemore
Introduction — Gary A. Braunbeck

“Behindeye: A History”
“Her Father’s Collection”
“Zen and the Art of Gordon Dratch’s Damnation”
“The Itaewon Eschatology Show”
“Come to my Arms, My Beamish Boy”
“Funeral Song for a Ventriloquist”
“Inhuman Zones: An Oral History of Jan Landau’s Golem Band”
“Ballad of a Hot Air Balloon-Headed Girl”
“Old Roses”
“Stickhead (Or… In the Dark, in the Wet, We Are Collected)”
“I Inhale the City, the City Exhales Me”
“Across the Dead Station Desert, Television Girl”


Cover Art:

Saber Core


“Almost impossible stories filled with surprising warmth and strangeness by a studied craftsman of the imagination. Douglas Warrick’s Plow the Bones has provided dangerous tales of puppets with secrets, unforgettable rock bands, haunted closets and people who may or may not be human; perhaps they’re more than human. From transformative games with strangers to poor souls experiencing heaven and hell (and not quite sure which is which), you will never forget these unsettling stories.”
Ann VanderMeer, Hugo Award-winning editor of The New Weird

“It’s been far too long since I’ve read a collection of horror stories that actually disturbed me. This one did. Like the bastard child of Chuck Palahniuk and Clive Barker, Doug Warrick writes feverishly, like a man on a charnel train that is relentlessly barreling its way through corrupt and ugly terrain, heading for some great, unknowable horror. Herein lies a gruesome gathering of Gothic nightmares fashioned from Warrick’s lyrical, affecting, mesmeric prose. One of the finest collections I’ve read in quite some time.”
Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Turtle Boy, Kin, and Nemesis

Plow the Bones is hands-down the finest single-author collection I’ve read in a decade.”
Gary A. Braunbeck, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of In Silent Graves, Far Dark Fields, and To Each Their Darkness


“Intellectually surreal and emotionally disturbing, Douglas F. Warrick’s collection of tales marks a superb introduction for readers to the Apex Voices line of fiction.”
–Beauty in Ruins, Bob Milne

Plow the Bones is not a book to run through. The author has invested considerable effort in constructing some, at times, rather beautiful prose which rewards careful attention with the revelation of pleasing ideas. We flirt with surrealism and notice elements of the supernatural. Philosophical abstractions try to attract our attention as we lie alienated in different settings. There are occasional snatches of weird as if overheard accidentally in real settings. And overall there are symptoms of intelligence at work. As a collection, it’s a positive delight from start to finish!”
–Opinionator, David Marshall

“Now, if you like your fiction easy, simple and fun, then I will just tell you to stop now. You won’t like this stuff. His stories are dense and, at times, intensely painful. This is not good time reading. At the same time, it is damn good.”
–, Anton Cancre

Douglas F. Warrick is a writer, a musician, and a world-traveler. His first published story appeared in Apex Science Fiction & Horror Digest back in 2006. Since then, Douglas’s work has been published in a variety of periodicals, websites, podcasts, and anthologies, and has grown progressively stranger.

Douglas originally hails from Dayton, OH, but his travels have taken him all over Asia. Douglas has screamed Buzzcock’s lyrics with Korean punk rockers in the neon alleys of Seoul, marveled at the oddness of Beijing’s masked opera singers and illusionists, piloted a bicycle through Kyoto on the way to the Golden Temple, broken up a fight between an Australian tourist and a Thai street vendor in Bangkok, and learned that the world is much weirder and more wonderful than anything he could fabricate.

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