You Will Grow Into Them by Malcolm Devlin
"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
"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 and The Rift
The world is a far stranger place than we give it credit for. There, in the things we think familiar, safe, are certain aspects. Our fears and desires given form. Moments that defy explanation. Shadows in our home.
In Malcolm Devlin’s debut collection, change is the only constant. Across ten stories he tackles the unease of transformation, growth and change in a world where horror seeps from the everyday. Childhood anxieties manifest as debased and degraded doppelgängers, fungal blooms are harvested from the backs of dancers and London lycanthropes become the new social pariahs. The demons we carry inside us are very real indeed, but You Will Grow Into Them.
Taking weird fiction and horror and bending them into strange and wondrous new shapes, You Will Grow Into Them follows in the grand tradition of Aickman, Ligotti and Vandermeer, reminding us that the ordinary world is a much stranger place than it seems.
"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
"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 & OTHER RECOUNTINGS
Malcolm Devlin's stories have appeared, or are forthcoming in Interzone, Black Static and the anthologies Aickman's Heirs, Gods, Memes And Monsters and Nightscript Volume 2. He attended the Clarion West writers's workshop in 2013.
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.
– The Financial Times
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.
– Starburst Magazine, 10/10 review
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.
– LA Review of Books
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.
– Weird Fiction Review
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”. Most of the time, Devlin gets the balance spot-on; then his stories shimmer with an otherworldly light.
– Minor Literatures
You Will Grow Into Them marks the debut of an exciting new talent. 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. Each story demonstrates Devlin's mastery of prose; his writing is beautiful and clear, and his characterisation deft.
– Ginger Nuts of Horror
Metamorphoses sudden and brutal characterize many of the stories in Malcolm Devlin’s excellent collection. Devlin’s eludes definite classification and description, and to pigeon-hole it as one thing or another would be to diminish and distort its achievement. It evokes genre without being bound by it; its ideas and metaphors speak of larger things beyond genre expectations; its departure point is ordinary life made extraordinary by the seepages and eruptions of the inexplicable, the unknown and half-suspected, the fearful and the beguiling. Prepare yourself for the genuinely unheimlich.
– Jack Messenger
Contains 'beautiful material,' 'a staggeringly great story', 'a future classic to remember,' 'a disarmingly major work,' and 'undeniably something really special'.
– SF Lewis' Real-Time Reviews
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. [You Will Grow Into Them] has the power to move, and to challenge the way each reader perceives the everyday.
– Never Imitate
I thoroughly enjoyed the fine line that's tread by stories between the normal and the fantasy, the normal and the supernatural. So, if you want an edgy and unnerving but splendid collection of eclectic and starkly contrasted short stories....THIS IS YOUR BOOK.
– The Book Geek
The often grisly, macabre and ghoulish nature of the stories included in Devlin's debut collection are intoxicatingly illicit and the darkness within each tale is deviously addictive. I never want to spoil the unbridled joy of a truly excellent book, so I will simply say that you will devour this book and that it will be an electrifying journey from the first page to the last
With a mix of horror and fantasy among the ten stories on show here, Devlin displays a rare talent for switching styles and genres while maintaining a distinctive identity.
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.
– SF Crows Nest
The stories were really original and spectacularly well written, I really savoured every word the author put on the page
– Whispering Stories
Anyone who's read any of Devlin's work before will not be surprised that these stories are all expertly constructed, brilliantly told. But reading them together really brings home the range of his talents, both in terms of genre-tropes and more importantly emotional depth and characterisation. It's a masterpiece. I'm going to read it again after writing these rushed and no doubt clumsy words.
– Scattershot Writing
There are many factors that make the short stories in the extraordinary collection so compelling... [Devlin] 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.
– Andrew Wallace
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-907389-43-6
ePub ISBN: 978-1-907-389-44-3
Publication date: 12th June 2017
Format: Paperback, ePub and mobi