Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen, and the Criminally Insane

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John Skipp, ed.
Black Dog & Levinthal, 2012.
Features “The Mannerly Man.”

This collection of thirty-eight terrifying tales of serial killers at large, written by the great masters of the genre, plumbs the horrifying depths of a deranged mind and the forces of evil that compel a human being to murder, gruesomely and methodically, over and over again.

From Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs) to Patrick Bateman (American Psycho), stories of serial killers and psychos loom large and menacing in our collective psyche. Tales of their grisly conquests have kept us cowering under the covers, but still turning the pages.

Psychos is the first book to collect in a single volume the scariest and most well-crafted fictional works about these deranged killers. Some of the stories are classics, the best that the genre has to offer, by renowned writers such as Neil Gaiman, Amelia Beamer, Robert Bloch, and Thomas Harris. Other selections are from the latest and most promising crop of new authors.

John Skipp, who is also the editor of Zombies, Demons and Werewolves and Shapeshifters, provides fascinating insight, through two nonfiction essays, into our insatiable obsession with serial killers and how these madmen are portrayed in popular culture. Resources at the end of the book includes lists of the genre’s best long-form fiction, movies, websites, and writers.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Our Brain: The Monster of Choice, When There’s No One Else Left to Blame by John Skipp

Classical Scenes of Farewell by Jim Shepard

Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe

Marmalade Wine by Joan Aiken

The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell

The Small Assassin by Ray Bradbury

Lucy Comes to Stay by Robert Bloch

The Liar by Laura Lee Bahr

The Paperhanger by William Gay

Red Dragon (excerpt) by Thomas Harris

The Exit at Toledo Blade Boulevard Jack Ketchum

Incident On and Off A Mountain Road by Joe. R. Lansdale

Murder for Beginners by Mercedes M. Yardley

Jesse by Steve Rasnic Tem

In for A Penny by Lawrence Block

Now Hold Still by David J. Schow

Feminine Endings by Neil Gaiman

Going Solo by Leah Mann

Death-in-Life Love Song by Kevin L. Donihe

Ralph and Jerry by Leslianne Wilder

And What Did You See in the World? by Norman Partridge

Life with Father by Bentley Little

The Shallow End of the Pool by Adam-Troy Castro

Mommy Picks Me Up at Day Care by John Gorumba

When The Zoos Close Down, They’ll Come For Us by Violet Lavoit

All Through The House by Christopher Coake

Intruder by John Boden

Straycation by Scott Bradley and Peter Giglio

Life Coach by Cody Goodfellow

Righteous by Weston Ochse

The Meaning of Life by Amelia Beamer

Damaged Goods by Elizabeth Massie

Willow Tests Well by Nick Mamatas

Serenity Now by Simon McCaffery

The Mannerly Man by Mehitobel Wilson

Sensible Violence by Brian Hodge

Bucky Goes to Church by Robert Devereaux

At Eventide by Kathe Koja

Afterword: Psychos and You! by John Skipp

Appendix A: A Devil in My View: Psychos in Popular Culture by Cody Goodfellow

Appendix B: The Albert Fish Letter

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