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Straub, Peter

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1943-    ) US author who has focused throughout his long career on horror, almost always fantastic; he has written relatively little short fiction, his first story being The General's Wife (May 1982 Twilight Zone; 1982); Interior Darkness: Selected Stories (coll 2016) assembles a significant range of tales from between 1985 and 2013, some of them of novella length. Some of his mid-period works, like the World Fantasy Award-winning Koko (1988) are nonfantastic tales of crime and retribution. His collaboration with Stephen King in the Talisman sequence comprising The Talisman (1984) and Black House (2001) verges on sf, however, when its characters enter Underground into a Parallel World cognate with that depicted in King's solo Dark Tower. The savage Godgame manipulations inflicted by the author Tim Underhill on his characters in the Underhill sequence comprising lost boy lost girl (2003) and In the Night Room (2004) are at points Equipoisal with more traditional sf exercises in immurement; the Pocket Universe which encloses at least one of these characters is reminiscent in its cruel claustrophobia of Margaret St Clair's Agent of the Unknown (1956 dos). A sense that as his career has advanced, Straub has increasingly tended to gnomic juxtapositions of material from the overall toolkit of Fantastika, is strengthened through the publication of an apparent fragment like Perdido: A Fragment from a Work in Progress (2015 chap), where disjunct thrusts of story-types create a vision both raddled and encompassing. Straub was given a World Fantasy Award for life achievement in 2010. [JC]

see also: Gothic SF; Arthur Machen.

Peter Francis Straub

born Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 2 March 1943




  • The Talisman (New York: Viking, 1984) with Stephen King [Talisman: hb/Neil Stuart]
  • Black House (New York: Random House, 2001) with Stephen King [Talisman: hb/Marc Cohen]


individual titles

  • Marriages (London: André Deutsch, 1973) [hb/Howard Brown]
  • Julia (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1976) [hb/Paul Bacon]
  • If You Could See Me Now (London: Jonathan Cape, 1977) [hb/]
  • Ghost Story (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1979) [hb/Angela Cummings]
  • Shadow Land (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1980) [hb/Lynn Hollyn]
  • Floating Dragon (San Francisco, California: Underwood-Miller, 1982) [hb/Diane and Leo Dillon]
    • Floating Dragon (New York: G P Putnam's Sons, 1983) [apparently simultaneous with the above: hb/Paul Bacon]
  • Koko (New York: E P Dutton, 1988) [hb/Robert Korn]
  • Mrs God (West Kingston, Rhode Island: Donald M Grant, 1990) [illus/hb/Rick Berry]
    • Mrs God (New York: Pegasus Crime, 2010) [novella: cut version of the above: reprinting the preferred version: first appeared in Houses Without Doors below: hb/Michael Fusco]
  • Mystery (New York: E P Dutton, 1990) [hb/Paul Bacon]
  • The Throat (Baltimore, Maryland: Borderlands Press, 1993) [preferred text: hb/Ryan Dreimiller]
  • The Hellfire Club (New York: Random House, 1996) [hb/Barnaby Hall]
  • Mr X (New York: Random House, 1999) [hb/Marc Cohen]
  • A Dark Matter (New York: Doubleday, 2010) [see also The Skylark below: hb/Kim Keever]
  • The Skylark (Burton, Michigan: Subterranean Press, 2010) [alternate version of A Dark Matter above, with a different approach to the same material; neither is the preferred text: hb/Susan Bee]
  • A Process (is a Process All its Own) (Burton, Michigan: Subterranean Press, 2017) [chap: hb/Susan Straub]

collections and stories



works as editor

about the author


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