Unexpectedly, there are (or will be) four of these.
This collection is published by Unsung Stories, and is available to order now via the link below or through your favourite bookshop.
It contains ten stories, each a strange sort of coming of age tale. There are ghost stories without any ghosts in them, werewolf stories without any werewolves in them, a city that turns into forest, a barren planet with a peculiar sort of harvest celebration and a suburban street suffering a very personal and rather embarrassing apocalypse. I hope you enjoy them.
While you're at it, you can also sign up to the Unsung Stories mailing list and you'll get new stories from smart and talented folk sent to you for free.
(Also available as an ebook from your preferred supplier of electronic literature.)
You Will Grow Into Them has been shortlisted for the 2018 British Fantasy Awards and the 2018 Saboteur Awards in the category of 'Best Collection'.
“ Malcolm Devlin's You Will Grow Into Them is a collection of immaculately written tales that deftly mix darkness with a playful imagination. The result are stories that are as entertaining and humane as they are deeply unsettling. We need more stories in the world like these.”
— Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil's Rock
“ Almost every story in You Will Grow Into Them leaves behind a vivid central image. This may be grand and bizarre, like the transformed city-forest of Breadcrumbs; or something more low-key and menacing, as the enraptured clubgoers of Songs Like They Used to Play. In a few stories, these images can end up overshadowing the piece as a whole. Most of the time, however, Devlin gets the balance spot-on; then his stories shimmer with an otherworldly light.”
— David Hebblethwaite, Minor Literature[s]
“ Devlin’s stories are characterized by their absence of fear in the face of strange changes. They oppose the grim stupidity of the horrific sublime with the quiet ironies of consciousness and the inexplicable flights of fate. It is a mark of distinction that, here as in much of the weird, visions of the world are made unstable and porous, even as they reveal how dangerous life has always been. Cracks emerge. Inevitably, bodies start to pile up. Almost worse, bodies begin to go missing. Who knows what will appear in their place? Generosity is not softness; darkness may be more comforting than any light. You Will Grow Into Them promises much, namely, a fate of incorporation into forming uncertainty. It delivers gleefully, warmly, and well—with a distressingly strange and inexorable smile.”
— Leif Schenstead-Harris, Weird Fiction Review
“ Devlin’s prose is polished to a bright colloquial sheen that rarely dulls; his characters speak as if they have just thought what to say. It is confident stuff that puts the reader immediately at ease: it is reassuring to sense one is in the hands of a writer who knows exactly where they are going and how to get there... Prepare yourself for the genuinely unheimlich. ”
“ Whilst reading this collection I was blown away by the quality of the writing and by how much each story got under my skin. They are subtle, empathetic, yet eerily strange; disquieting in places with the accuracy of the human condition portrayed through a darkly playful lens.
I recommend you read this book. It has the power to move, and to challenge the way each reader perceives the everyday.”
— Jackie Law, NeverImmitate
“ Malcolm Devlin’s work feels as if it sprung directly from the compost of ’70s folk horror, finding inspiration — and a renewed vigor — in the tropes and assumptions of authors such as Robert Aickman, Ramsey Campbell, Robert Holdstock, and Joan Aiken. His debut collection, You Will Grow Into Them, thus perfectly embodies the shifting emphases and new grounding imageries of folk horror in the 21st century.”
“ Devlin’s collection, like Andrew Michael Hurley’s The Loney before it, is set to become one of the decade’s landmarks of English weird.”
— Nina Allan, author of The Race
“ This intriguing, alamring book, positively hums with a sense of the uncanny.” ****
— Will Salmon, SFX
“ You Will Grow Into Them is filled with stories that are deceptively simple and perilously elegant. They look like fairy tales, but aren’t really – in fact, they are best described as a precise alchemy of language. Perfectly-pitched, thoroughly disquieting, You Will Grow Into Them is like a light in the darkness, that might lead you home or lure you from the path. Malcolm Devlin is one of our finest voices.”
— Angela Slatter, World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings
“ Over the course of ten stories, Devlin shows just how varied Horror and Weird fiction can be, effortlessly fusing elements from folklore, science fiction, regency comedy of manners and urban fantasy into a cohesive and compelling whole... His writing is fascinated with transitory states and the liminal, the space that exists between the rigidly defined strictures of the world around us. In this his work echoes the philosophical approach of Philip K. Dick and Thomas Ligotti, reminding us of the power of genre fiction to ask profound questions about our relationship to reality. ”
— Jonathan Thornton, Ginger Nuts of Horror
“ Everything is written with a smooth professionalism of the first order. He really gets into the heads of his diverse and interesting characters and delivers the action in fluent prose that many writers will envy. ”
— Eamonn Murphy, SFCrowsnest
“ Devlin’s writing is surgical in its precision, with here and there a sly flicker of wit. These are stories that unsettle rather than horrify, full of irony and anxiety, from an author who exemplifies the very best of the genre. ”
— James Lovegrove, The Financial Times
“ This debut collection of stories by Malcolm Devlin is one of the best I've read in years. Subtle, by turns tender and brutal, and full of the sort of beauty one only finds in the heart's darkest corner, You Will Grow Into Them made me both jealous and grateful. Stories like this are exactly why I love to read.”
— Nathan Ballingrud, author of North American Lake Monsters and The Visible Filth
“ Devlin’s characters are believable and sympathetic, his prose walks that genius knife-edge of being sparse and scalpel-sharp while also having depth, texture and lyricism, and the structure and balance of each of his stories – all of which conceal an intriguing sting-in-the-tail – are reminiscent of the best of Angela Carter or Roald Dahl in their ability to build entirely believable universes but skewer everything down into small, intimate human moments.” 10/10
— Ian White, Starburst Magazine
“ Honestly, the span of worlds and subgenres is so wide it’s hard to pin You Will Grow Into Them down into one genre... Devlin has covered a wide enough range of topics to make me very happy to nominate his collection for a Saboteur Award: we’re dedicated to reviewing that which defies easy categorisation. Plus, it’s deliciously dark.”
— Richard T. Watson, Sabotage Reviews
“ There are many factors that make the short stories in this extraordinary collection so compelling. One is that you aren’t quite sure what genre you’re reading, which makes the outcomes unpredictable. That you’re still not sure by the end is no failing of the author; rather it’s that he mixes a uniquely beguiling cocktail of fantasy, science fiction, horror and something I can only describe as Other Stuff. Stories like these tend to get labelled New Weird, but I don’t think that label does them justice. It’s too alienating, and another source of readability is how incredibly moving the stories are.”
“ You Will Grow Into Them is a compendium of strange tales that reveal much about our own world through a form of osmosis, stories in which psychological and spiritual states are made physically manifest. It marks the arrival of a potentially major new talent.”
— Pete Tennant, Interzone #270
This is the fifth in the TTA Press Novella Series.
Rob is a Crescent kid. Born and raised in the sheltered circle of grey semis, built to house the employees of The City Works and their families. Under the eye of the reclusive Mr Olhouser, the residents of The Crescent go about their work, their lessons and their law, accompanied by the never-ending sound of The Works machinery deep under the ground.
When Lee Wrexler moves into The Crescent, he brings with him something dangerous from the outside. Not just a reputation for trouble, but an outside perspective that will ultimately show Rob that the home he always thought he had a measure of is a stranger and far more unsettling place than he could have imagined.
“ After reading Devlin’s well-written chiller, you may never look at cities in exactly the same way, but reading Engines Beneath Us is something you definitely should do.”
— Paula Guran, Locus
“ Demonstrating how understated prose can itself thrum as if concealing hidden workings, this authentically eerie novella gets its tone just right.”
— Mat Coward, Morning Star
“ Malcolm Devlin is one of those writers who inspires great trust from readers, and rightly so. He is a quietly brilliant craftsman who never puts a foot wrong. His writing here has an authority and economy that gradually induces paranoia in the reader. We become conscious of the engines beneath us, and afraid. Highly recommended. ”
— Georgina Bruce
“ A beautifully told and deeply troubling story that confirms Devlin’s place at the forefront of Weird fiction.”
— Jonathan Thornton, Ginger Nuts of Horror
Passion Play (Black Static #38, TTA Press, Jan/Feb 2014)
Must Supply Own Work Boots
(Interzone #255, TTA Press, Nov/Dec 2014; Starship Sofa 452, September 2016)
Two Brothers (Aickman's Heirs, Simon Strantzas, ed. Undertow Publications, 2015)
Her First Harvest (Interzone #258, TTA Press, May/Jun 2015)
The Knowledge (Gods, Memes and Monsters, Heather Jones, ed. Stone Skin Press, 2015)
Five Conversations With My Daughter (Who Travels in Time)
(Interzone #261, TTA Press, Nov/Dec 2015)
Breadcrumbs (Interzone #264, TTA Press, May/Jun 2016)
The End of Hope Street
(Interzone #266, TTA Press, Sep/Oct 2016; The Year's Best Weird Fiction 4, Undertow Publications, October 2017; Shortlisted for the BSFA Award Best Shorter Fiction 2017)
Dogsbody (Black Static #54, TTA Press, Sep/Oct 2016)
White Elephants (Nightscript Volume 2, C.M. Muller, ed. Oct 2016)
We Can Walk It Off Come The Morning (Shadows and Tall Trees 7, Undertow Publications, May 2017)
The New Man (Interzone #270, TTA Press, May/Jun 2017)
Songs Like They Used To Play, We All Need Somewhere To Hide, The Last Meal He Ate Before She Killed Him, The Bridge
(all published for the first time in the collection You Will Grow Into Them, Unsung Stories, June 2017)
March, April, May, 2084 (Unsung Stories, July 2017)
What Little Boys Are Made Of (Nightscript Volume 3, C.M. Muller, ed. Oct 2017)
Moths, (The Shadow Booth, Dan Coxon, ed. Dec 2017)
We Are Now Beginning Our Descent, (LossLit, Issue 7, Mar 2018)
The Purpose of the Dodo is to be Extinct (Interzone #275, TTA Press, May/Jun 2018)
Finisterre (BFS Horizons #7, May 2018)
Nautilus (Far Horizons August 2018)
A Dreamer Arrives in the Occupied City (Interzone #281, TTA Press, May-June 2019)
My Uncle Eff (An Invite to Eternity Gary Budden, Marian Womack eds., Calque Press, November 2019)
Engines Beneath Us (TTA Press, March 2020)
Flotsam and Jetsam (Out of the Darkness Dan Coxon, ed. Unsung Stories, September 2021)
If you'd like to get in touch, you can email me at email@example.com. Alternatively if you'd prefer, you can hunt me down on Twitter, where I intermittently post things that are a little bit trivial and occasionally resort to mild sarcasm.