Pain Thieves: A Novel of Horror
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For Henry, a man who flushes success and love away at every turn, the Hotel Stephen Crane–shambling Gothic residence at the heart of an aging west-coast metropolis–means one last chance to get clean in the middle of a misspent life. For a damaged, passionate, young artist like Bryn, it offers her first real try at independence. And happiness. All the residents, and even the staff, seem to find in its walls an oasis to escape their private demons: alcohol, heroin, gambling, sex-addiction, and the darkness of self-doubt. Yet, after death mysteriously takes one innocent resident, a curse seems to envelop the lives of the others. A new threat emerges, testing the strength and will of each survivor. A threat more dangerous–more irresistible–than any drug…than any addiction. An ancient malevolence unlike anything Henry or Bryn have ever battled before. Michael Canfield writes about monsters, superheroes, couples, bank robbers, babies, astronauts, paranoids, background artists, hobbyists, and other people. He has published mystery, fantasy, science fiction, horror, or just-plain-odd stories on StrangeHorizons, futurismic, EscapePod, M–Brane SF, in dead-tree magazines including Realms of Fantasy, Talebones, Black Gate, Flytrap and other places. His novelette “Super-Villains” was republished in the prestigious Fantasy: The Year’s Best series, edited by Rich Horton. Born in Las Vegas, he now lives, works, plays, writes, and watches television in Seattle.