Ariadne, I Love You

On Sale Now!

Jude is dragged out of Alt-Country obscurity, out of the dismal loop of booze and sadness baths and the boundless, insatiable loneliness, to scrub up and fly to Australia for a last, desperate comeback tour. Hardly worth getting out of bed for—and he wouldn’t, if it weren’t for Coreen.

But Coreen is dead. And, worse than that, she’s married. Jude’s swan-song tour becomes instead a terminal descent, into the sordid past, into the meaning hidden in forgotten songs, into Coreen’s madness diary, there to waken something far worse than her ghost.

Order Now!
About the Book

Recent Press & Endorsements

“Ashley-Smith uses this eerie, ambiguous ghost story to explore the fraught relationship between artist and muse and the thin line between love and obsession. … multilayered, atmospheric, and thought-provoking.”
—Publishers Weekly Full Review

“Sensual and deadly, enticingly sinister.”
—Aurealis Magazine, #141

“Ariadne, I Love You, by J. Ashley-Smith, is my favorite kind of horror story: intimate, whip-smart, and relentless. The protagonist is in many ways a terrible human being: selfish, directionless, blind to the needs of others—and totally sympathetic, at least to this jaded reader. He is also doomed, which comes as no surprise. The mechanism of that doom is a surprise, though, and a delightfully awful one. More stories like this, please.”
—Nathan Ballingrud, author of North American Lake Monsters and Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell

“Ashley-Smith makes the reader feel like a sick voyeur in Ariadne, I Love You, as he takes us on a road trip through a diseased, obsessed, restless, haunted soul. Highly recommended.”
—Kaaron Warren, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award

“J. Ashley-Smith has created a superbly written tale of love and haunted passion, with a poetic ambiance that leaves this reader both sympathetic and unsettled.”
—Robert Hood, award-winning author of Peripheral Visions: The Complete Ghost Stories, and Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead

“Fallen-on-hard-times musician Jude has always loved Coreen, even when she was his best mate’s girl, even after she was dead. But this is no conventional love story nor is it a conventional horror story. J. Ashley-Smith has an eye for the right precise detail that illuminates characters who seem to live and breathe well beyond the bounds of his evocative prose. Ariadne, I Love You is a powerful novella of enigmas and delusion and madness, of the lies we tell others and ourselves, and of the darkness at the heart of love. This is the kind of oblique, unsettling fiction I’m always looking for and too rarely find; I highly recommend it.”
—Lynda E. Rucker, award-winning author of The Moon Will Look Strange and You’ll Know When You Get There

“J. Ashley-Smith deftly blurs the lines between real and nightmare, love and obsession, in this haunting novella of aged rock stars, unrequited devotion, and the unassailable power that the past has over us. In here, guilt, grief, and regret leave an opening for worse things to tempt us in the buzzing darkness. You’ll feel Ariadne, I Love You whether you want to or not.”
—Simon Strantzas, author of Nothing is Everything

“A haunting tale of desire and madness and what might—or might not—be love. Ashley-Smith weaves a compelling story of music, bone, and nightmare.”
—Angela Slatter, award-winning author of All the Murmuring Bones

“A nuanced and numinous rock ’n’ roll Gothic about the distances—in time and space—that a broken heart will go to terrifyingly reassemble. You might begin J. Ashley-Smith’s condensed riff on the abyss of student longing, artistic burnout and unresolved grief, on the train. You almost certainly will continue reading while stirring the pasta and eating it, and halfway through your meal you will look up from your second glass of wine and wonder where the hell you are.”
—J.S. Breukelaar, author of The Bridge

“Ashley-Smith understands that ghost stories are, most importantly and at their core, about people, and with Ariadne, I Love You, he’s crafted a haunting, ambiguous, confident and ghastly tale of eternal love.”
—Keith Rosson, author of Folk Songs For Trauma Surgeons
and The Mercy of the Tide

Details
Order Now
About the Author
J. Ashley-Smith

J. Ashley-Smith is a British-Australian author of dark speculative fiction and co-host of the Let The Cat In podcast. His short stories have twice won national competitions and been shortlisted seven times for Aurealis Awards, winning both Best Horror and Best Fantasy. His first book, The Attic Tragedy, won the Shirley Jackson Award. His novella, Ariadne, I Love You, is available now from Meerkat Press. J. gathers moth dust in the suburbs of North Canberra, tormented by the desolation of telegraph wires. 

Preview