"The stories of Orrin Grey are fun, fast, and, surprising enough in a genre where doom, gloom, and ultra-gore are standard issue, rather good-natured. It's not often you come across 'pleasant horror,' but that's the best way to describe this collection—put a load of classic horror movies and comic books in a blender, liberally add some splashes of Mike Mignola-cool, and you've got yourself a monster mash to be reckoned with."
- Jesse Bullington, author of Enterprise of Death and The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart
A WORLD JUST BEYOND KNOWING
By Orrin Grey
As a reader and writer, I love the economy and freedom of the short story form. When it comes to matters of the supernatural, short stories are particularly well-suited to delivering the inexplicable, the indefinable, the numinous, something still left unexplored, an edge of the map marked “Here, there be monsters.”
I seek out these stories in anthologies, in films, and in comics like the old Warren Creepy and Eerie magazines, but my favorite way to read them is in a collection written by the vision of a single author. Collections let you see the stories all stacked up next to each other, see how the author changes from one story to the next, and how they stay the same. Whether it's Clive Barker's The Books of Blood or the ghost stories of M.R. James and E.F. Benson, a collection by a contemporary master or one of the billion-or-so compilations of tales by Lovecraft, Bradbury or Poe, there's no other kind of book I'd rather curl up with.
So when the opportunity presented itself for me to put together my first collection of stories, I jumped at the chance.
I must have drafted the table of contents for the book that would become Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings at least a million times, trying to find just the right balance, the right combination. The title story is little more than a fragment, written for a contest that it didn't win, but I think it sets the right tone, invites you into the world that I'm building, one story at a time. A world made from old movies and horror comics and ghost stories, filled with golems and necromancers, cursed books and haunted houses, ghouls and jazz musicians and the skeleton of, well, something.
That's the real beauty of a short story collection: it lets you build a world that somehow always remains just beyond the reach of knowing, a house that's always full of cobwebs and dark corners. A short story collection is never just one ride, it's an entire dark carnival, a cabinet of curiosities that gives you a glimpse into a place of infinite strangeness, but never quite lets you see the whole picture.
"Orrin Grey writes tales that are as eloquent as they are eerie. He deftly blends the high Gothic aesthetics of classical horror with a raconteur's innate knack for storytelling. Grey is a unique talent, and is destined to become a major name in weird fiction."
- Richard Gavin, author of The Darkly Splendid Realm
"Never Bet the Devil is a creepy foray into the realm of the weird and the sinister. An intriguing exploration of traditional and modern horror modes. Grey's debut shows a great deal of promise." Laird Barron, author of Occultation and The Croning