Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /nfs/c02/h01/mnt/15037/domains/nightshadebooks.com/html/wp-content/themes/listings/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160


Close Search
Use Once, Then Destroy

Use Once, Then Destroy


Trade Paperback - $15.99
Buy at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Powell's

ISBN: 9781597808224
Published: 05/05/2015

The first collection of stories from acclaimed horror writer Conrad Williams.

In a Venice shackled by winter, a serial killer is removing victims’ hands.

While on holiday in the Fens of East Anglia, a woman at the end of her tether finds a terrible release.

A man haunted by graffiti finds that the road to discovering the perpetrator leads to death . . . and worse.

A husband trying to comfort his terminally ill wife seeks help in a forbidden zone from his childhood, where blood is the price of perfection.

Use Once, Then Destroy selects award-winning writer Conrad Williams’s finest short fiction published between 1993 and 2002, with an additional three stories original to this collection. Within these pages you will also find the International Horror Guild and British Fantasy Society award–nominated novella “Nearly People,” in which a woman’s search for food in a nightmarish city brings her attention from an enigmatic man known as The Dancer, and leads her to a host of terrible epiphanies.

This spellbinding compilation offers the kind of unsettling horrors that drift into your consciousness and envelop you in an ethereal atmosphere of unease. There are no easy answers to the questions raised in these stories, which explore the scarred outposts of desperation and desire, sickness and death, sex and decay. One thing is certain: Use Once, Then Destroy will stay with you long after you’ve stopped reading.

“A writer of extraordinary talent; stories that shine dark light into the world’s shadows.”
—Michael Marshall Smith, author of Only Forward and Spares

“Williams is a skilled craftsman who demonstrates how vivid, unsettling, and lingering dark fiction can be. Use Once, then Destroy is one of the most solid collections of disturbing but engaging work you’re likely to find on the shelves today.”
—Tom Piccirilli, author of The Night Class and The Midnight Road

“Williams is without doubt one of the finest fantasists writing today.”
—Tim Lebbon, author of The Nature of Balance and Coldbrook

“This guy is good, and he’s only going to get better. Use Once, then Destroy is thoughtful, toxic, and very, very hard to put down.”
—Wes Unruh, Green Man Review

“One of the more inventive and gifted writers of horror and dark SF to emerge in the past decade.”
—Tim Pratt, Locus

“Depraved and elegantly ambivalent stories … Williams writes with a poetic brutality that definitely makes him a dark voice to note.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A genuine, deeply macabre spellbinder.”
—Ray Olson, Booklist

“Williams’ style might be summed up as ‘baroque M. John Harrison'; where Harrison writes with inevitable grace, however, Williams’ writing is sometimes a poetic bludgeon to be survived. … Watch out for Mr. Conrad Williams. In a world of impuissant poseurs who can’t prick the thinnest skin when they pick up a pen, he’s a sick and dangerous bastard who wields a nasty weapon with his words.”
—Paula Guran, Cemetery Dance

Use Once, Then Destroy showcases the breadth of Williams’ formidable talent. These stories fall within the spectrum of psychological and supernatural horror, although such lines are often blurred by the hallucinogenic quality of his prose. …. Dense, often ambiguous, worthy of rereading; one of the most accomplished collections I’ve encountered.”
—Laird Barron, author of The Imago Sequence and The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All