Malign Providence

Jonathan Thomas


“How remiss I’ve been as an object of human interest! You’ve yet to witness anything worth writing about.” Oh, how humble Thomas can be even as he channels his characters’ inner sanctum. But just follow his trail beyond that of H.A. in “The Last Jar” and you’ll find there’s much to witness and discover, and much you’d hope would stay buried. For the seeds of sinister Lovecraftian horror can be found scattered across these sixteen tales that depict a time and place from our recent past that is at once familiar yet distorted through Thomas’ cosmic horror lens. His Providence isn’t just that of Lovecraft’s home but of his own brand of mythos.
       His characters often fill the “everyman” void, allowing us the chance to identify with someone cut from the same cloth. There’s Justin in “Tempting Providence,” Dwight in “King of Cat Swamp,” and Ira in “We are Made of Stars,” who appear to follow the pattern of societal normalcy, adhering to the rules and keeping on the straight and narrow. However, when accosted by enigmatic entities — perhaps even supernatural — they find themselves left with little choice. And their decisions destroy all we’ve come to learn of them. But we soon find out that their fates are tied to a system beyond their control and universes beyond their reach.
       A troubled past coming back to haunt the living is a horror trope that’s been tackled ad nauseum, but Thomas handles it with a deftness and nuance that belies the genre. Stories like “Plenty of Irem” and “Gone to Doggerland” fall under this category. The former features a man’s visit to a museum that provides much more than he bargained for: a relic that invokes what should have been lost to the ravages of time. In the latter, Thomas reveals the hardships involved with end-of-life care. And for those left to handle the deceased’s affairs it could be the wake-up call they never saw coming.
       There are also tales like “Mobymart after Midnight” and “The Poor in Spirit” that don’t fit any discernible horror mold. With protagonists just as crazy as those that draw the ire of their attention, Thomas turns the tables on his characters. Could the forces of evil be harbored on the grounds of a prosaic store? And could two strangers with no perceptible connection still share a symbiotic relationship even if it’s parasitic? Only someone with a wild imagination would believe either as truth unless it fell within the confines of Thomas’ warped writing.
       Even if the monolithic creatures of Lovecraft’s most revered work are only present in whispers and rumblings, there’s a prowess shared amongst these stories that even he would approve. So, fast track yourself to Providence. For the journey into darkness may reveal the inner monsters you so desperately crave.
       This new collection of stories by Jonathan Thomas is limited to 500 numbered copies, each signed by Thomas, cover artist David Ho, and interior artist Francesco Giani.

edition information

  • Limited to 500 numbered copies.
  • Signed by Jonathan Thomas, David Ho, and Francesco Giani.
  • Dustjacket, endpaper, and frontispiece art by David Ho.
  • Interior illustrations by Francesco Giani.
  • Top-edge stain.
  • Ribbon marker, head and tail bands, bound in black cloth.
  • Two-color stamping on spine and front boards.
  • Smyth-sewn binding.
  • Original book price: $65.
  • Book size 5½ × 8¼ inches.
  • Number of pages: 456.
  • Published October 2022.
  • ISBN 978-1-61347-263-7.