Aurealis Award Winner, Bram Stoker Award and Shirley Jackson Award Finalist!
In this gothic-styled ghost story that simmers with strange, Warren shows once again her flair for exploring the mundane—themes of love, loss, grief, and guilt manifest in a way that is both hauntingly familiar and eerily askew.
People come to The Angelsea, a rooming house near the beach, for many reasons. Some come to get some sleep, because here, you sleep like the dead. Dora arrives seeking solitude and escape from reality. Instead, she finds a place haunted by the drowned and desperate, who speak through the sleeping inhabitants. She fears sleep herself, terrified that the ghosts of her daughters will tell her “it’s all your fault we’re dead.” At the same time, she’d give anything to hear them one more time.
- Locus Magazine Recommended Reading List 2019 – Full List
- Bram Stoker Preliminary Ballot – Best Novella 2019 – Full Preliminary Ballot
- The Canberra Times – “Into Bones Like Oil is an impressive, dark novella by one of Australia’s most imaginative writers” – Full Review
- Unnerving Magazine Podcast – “EP069 – Talking Into Bones Like Oil With Kaaron Warren” – Podcast
- Publishers Weekly – “This dark, ethereal novella by Warren . . . will especially appeal to horror readers who appreciate melancholic and atmospheric stories.” – Full Review
- NB Magazine, Linda Hepworth – (5 stars) – “Dark, disturbing, visceral … it taps into a deep fear of not having our voice heard, our history recognised, our feelings taken into account and our motivations understood. Yet it is also a story which offers the chance of redemption, forgiveness, justice and, eventually, cathartic resolution.” – Full Review
- Aurealis Magazine, Eugen Bacon – “Warren stirs awake an everyday fear that comes at you one hundred and one ways … an accomplished story that is most unsettling.”
- Fantasy Book Review – “An unusually effective tale; hard to define, and harder to forget.” – Full Review
- High Fever Books – “More of 2019’s Most Anticipated Blood Curdlers” – Full Article
- Signal Horizon, Carson Winter – “Our Most Anticipated Upcoming Horror and Weird Fiction” – Full Article
- Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World – “Into Bones Like Oil is sinewy, disorientating, and devastating in the way all the best ghost stories are.”
- Tade Thompson, author of Rosewater and The Murders of Molly Southbourne – “Warren delivers a tale of creeping dread. Dora is in a house that we all know and despise from travelling, but where the guests are used as conduits. For Dora the haunting by her past may be worse than anything supernatural and in Warren’s hands the horrific encroaches inexorably on the familiar. Recommended.”
- Margo Lanagan, award-winning author of “More” – “Kaaron Warren’s ghosts—numerous, garrulous, plaintive, soaked in seawater and old sins—are only matched for creepiness by her mediums and her hauntees. In this fever-dream of a novella, a loose community of broken souls searches for answers that only the dead, their dead, can bring. The classic setting of a rooming-house on a shipwreck coast is anything but staid in Kaaron’s hands. Bodies of all shapes, ages and degrees of abjection fume and leak, intertwine, yearn towards and repel each other, against a background of thickly shadowed histories and grumbling curses. Deeply unsettling.”
- Tim Waggoner, author of The Forever House – “Beautifully written and profoundly disturbing, an evocative meditation on sorrow and loss, a ghost story in which the most terrifying specters come from within.”
- Seb Doubinsky, author of the City-States Cycle series – “A gripping and idiosyncratic story of horror and redemption … the uncanny is actually the normality, and what we call “normality” is actually the real horror.”
Praise for Previous Books by Kaaron Warren
- Ellen Datlow (Praise for Walking Tree) – “Kaaron Warren is a fresh, amazingly talented voice out of Australia. You *must* read her work.”
- Trudi Canavan, author of the Black Magician Trilogy (Praise for Walking Tree) – “Like walking from a dream into a mythical land both familiar and delightfully strange. A tale of tolerance and survival, in a fascinating and beautifully realised world.”
- Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews (Praise for The Gate Theory) – “A perfect example of Kaaron Warren’s accomplishment in converting different themes and subjects into dense and powerful fiction. Her stories have the tendency to insidiously crawl under the reader’s skin, slithering unnoticed until they find a place from where one is unable to shake them loose after reading.”