Emma E. Murray is a quiet force of nature, a prolific and determined writer who has seen publication in a variety of venues and across genres. She has previously published a chapbook through Medusa Haus entitled Exquisite Hunger, and 2024 will see multiple new publications from this talented author. First, a novelette via Shortwave Press entitled When the Devil (May),as well as a mixed-media chapbook—entitled Performance of a Lifetime—via Archive of the Odd (August). Her début novel, Crushing Snails, will be released by Apocalypse Party (August), followed quickly by a second novel from the same press; Shoot Me in the Face on a Beautiful Day, slated for publication in the summer of 2025.

Now, collecting some of her previously published work (as well as including some originals), Emma’s first collection of short fiction will be published via Undertaker Books, bearing the title of THE DROWNING MACHINE and Other Obsessions.

The stories included in this collection are not for the faint of heart. Emma’s work often concerns tragic, intense situations of love, lust, and loss—sometimes even combining all three elements in the same story. These are frighteningly realistic entries of children losing their innocence, of parental regret, of carnal yearning, of creeping evil, of the insidious nature of obsession—all of which are rendered so vividly that they almost irradiate the page. Emma’s prose positively shimmers, casting its glow over the darkest of places—the human (and inhuman) heart. The lengths to which her characters go to satisfy their darkest urges are hideous, sometimes tipping into the abject and surreal, as they tensely navigate uncharted waters. Some of the stories are ferocious howls de profundis, some are tender lullabies; some are deranged arias of grief­, and some are the quiet, contented hum of something which has just fed.

Enter the maelstrom of Emma E. Murray’s first collection and let yourself sink into stories that have been published in such venues as Cosmic Horror Monthly and Vastarien, as well as in anthologies like the critically-acclaimed Obsolescence (Shortwave Press) and What One Wouldn’t Do. Rave reviews for the author’s previously published work describe it as “unusually alluring … [with] graceful prose and perfect pacing.” Others remark that Emma is an “amazingly versatile writer” whose work is “masterfully executed and chilling to the core.” This book will easily be one of the most talked-about collections of short horror fiction in 2025, if not for years to come.

THE DROWNING MACHINE and Other Obsessions, by Emma E. Murray, edited by TJ Price. Coming February 2025 from Undertaker Books.

Emma E. Murray explores the dark side of humanity in her fiction. Her début novel, Crushing Snails, comes out August from Apocalypse Party, and her second novel, Shoot Me in the Face on a Beautiful Day, will be out in 2025. When she isn’t writing, she loves playing pretend with her daughter.

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