Feesters in the Lake

Bob Leman


Bob Leman’s cult classic, Feesters in the Lake, is an eclectic collection of stories that defies easy or obvious categorization. Are they horror? Are they fantasy? Are they science fiction? Well…yes to all! Elements from each can be found in any one of these narratives. However, his style skirts the conventions of genre fiction, thereby producing an oeuvre befitting any moniker. So, why spoil the fun by attaching a label? Let’s just call them what they are: genre-bending, nebulous tales from a distorted mind itching to scratch the reader’s cerebrum.
       Though, if definitions are your game, look no further than “Sturkeyville,” published for the first time in this edition. It’s a brief ode to the paradise we can clearly see but can never visit. It’s an Atlantis on land that exists within a bubble surrounded by wandering roads and hills that invariably warp us around our destination, leading us to question our eyesight and even our perception of reality. This subversion is a mechanism by which most of his work operates.
       There’s the pastiche of 1950s Americana found in “Bait,” where the door-to-door salesman is king. But the idyllic setting of a wholesome suburban homestead turns into a case study of the cold, calculated human nature inherent in us all. The story “Industrial Complex” falls under the same post-World War II romanticism that only acts as the window dressing for an underbelly of distrust and paranoia. It features a man branded as crazy for seemingly outlandish thoughts. But he can see what others are unable or unwilling to see. So, who’s the crazy one now?
       If you wish to leave this world for another, “Window” may be the escape you seek. One of Leman’s most vexing and insightful stories, it features a portal to a universe that seems much like our own. And we know curiosity won’t keep us from investigating even at the risk of our own welfare. Then there’s the indefinable “Instructions,” which plays out like a recipe for artistic manipulation. Follow the directions as stated and you won’t be harmed. Though, you might become unsettled or unhinged by Leman’s clairvoyance.
       The eponymous “Feesters in the Lake” is a story of Lovecraftian horror that begins in the bottom of a lake where “boneless pale creatures with ragged mouths full of teeth” reside. But rather than revel in their grotesque existence, Leman uses them to expand on the rationale behind the tall tales that created them.
       And new to this edition, “A Clock for a Demon” includes garish and gruesome violence that wouldn’t feel out of place in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. However campy it starts, the script flips so fast you’ll question who’s on the side of honesty and goodwill, or if it even exists.
       As you see, there’s a bend or curve to every story (including those that aren’t listed). Navigating through each is part of the fun, even if the answers don’t come easy. But if you work hard enough, you might find them buried in Leman’s prose, where he avoids the pitfalls committed by lesser authors. Don’t waste a second. Grab your shovel and get digging!
       This edition of Feesters in the Lake is 568 pages, with illustrations by Bob Eggleton, and is edited with a new introduction by Jim Rockhill.

edition information

  • Limited to 500 signed copies.
  • Signed by Jim Rockhill and Bob Eggleton, with a facsimile signature by Bob Leman.
  • Dustjacket, endpaper, and frontispiece art by Bob Eggleton.
  • Interior artwork by Bob Eggleton.
  • Illustrated endpapers.
  • Top-edge stain.
  • Ribbon marker, head and tail bands, bound in Brillianta black cloth.
  • Two-color stamping on spine and front boards.
  • Smyth-sewn binding.
  • Original book price: $100.
  • Book size 6 × 9 inches.
  • Number of pages: 568.
  • Published May 2022.
  • ISBN 978-1-61347-273-6.