Norman Partridge's Halloween novel, Dark Harvest, was chosen as one of Publishers Weekly's 100 Best Books of 2006. A Bram Stoker Award winner and World Fantasy nominee, Partridge's rapid-fire tale of a small town trapped by its own shadows welcomed a wholly original creation, the October Boy, earning the author comparisons to Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, and Shirley Jackson.
Now Partridge revisits Halloween with a collection featuring a half-dozen stories celebrating frights both past and present. In “The Jack o' Lantern,” a brand new Dark Harvest novelette, the October Boy races against a remorseless döppelganger bent on carving a deadly path through the town's annual ritual of death and rebirth. “Johnny Halloween” features a sheriff battling both a walking ghost and his own haunted conscience. In “Three Doors,” a scarred war hero hunts his past with the help of a magic prosthetic hand, while “Satan's Army” is a real Partridge rarity previously available only in a long sold-out lettered edition from another press.
But there's more to this holiday celebration besides fiction. “The Man Who Killed Halloween” is an extensive essay about growing up during the late sixties in the town where the Zodiac Killer began his murderous spree. In an introduction that explores monsters both fictional and real, Partridge recalls what it was like to live in a community menaced by a serial killer and examines how the Zodiac's reign of terror shaped him as a writer.
Halloween night awaits. Join a master storyteller as he explores the layers of darkness that separate all-too-human evil from the supernatural. Let Norman Partridge lead you on seven journeys through the most dangerous night of the year, where no one is safe…and everyone is suspect.
- Introduction: Dark Seasons Past
- Johnny Halloween
- Satan’s Army
- The Man Who Killed Halloween
- Black Leather Kites
- Three Doors
- The Jack o’ Lantern: a Dark Harvest tale
"Stoker winner Partridge (Dark Harvest) displays his superior prose skills in this collection of six short stories set around Halloween... The high point is 'The Jack o' Lantern,' set in the Dark Harvest universe and featuring a hunt for the October Boy, a pumpkin-headed creature who terrorizes an unnamed American town. This deft blend of horror, fantasy, and noir will leave readers hoping for a longer return to that mythos."
"In Johnny Halloween, Norman Partridge once again takes readers on a journey into Halloween's dark, fantastic world. His ability to invoke the autumn-spiced magic of this season securely places him alongside writers such as Ray Bradbury and Al Sarrantonio; however, his edged, two-fisted noir sensibilities gives this celebrated autumn season an added punch, and because of this Partridge continually offers something new where others have merely tried to imitate.... Like in Dark Harvest and Lesser Demons, Partridge continues to strike bold new ground, carving out new territory through familiar stories. He does this with style and incredible voice, however, and readers can be sure that with Norman Partridge at the wheel, quality is never sacrificed just for the sake of something new."
—Kevin Lucia, Shroud Magazine
"I can't think of a better way to celebrate Halloween than reading a collection of Halloween tales by Norman Partridge.... Mr. Partridge explores the darker side of our favorite holiday, bringing new chills and frights to our beloved holiday... Johnny Halloween will be a welcome addition to my list of annual Halloween traditions."
—Peter Schwotzer, Famous Monsters of Filmland