Tartarus Press


The Clockworm and Other Strange Stories is a sewn hardback book of 252 pages printed lithographically, with head and tailbands, and d/w.


Limited to 300 copies.


ISBN 978-1-912586-10-3


Sorry - This book is now out of print

The Clockworm

and Other Strange Stories


Karen Heuler


As Tonia watched the world slide by, strapped in her seat in the car, she felt another presence always, slightly to the right and behind, almost leaning against her, a pressure, an existence that was intimately reliable. This is good, she would think, and then there’d be an echo, ‘I like it too.’ The other voice always liked motion, and it soothed them both, to be lifted, to be carried, to be rocked, to be bathed.


Tonia eventually called the other voice Vivian. Vivian was the ghost in her head, the sly voice next to her heart.


You find you’re just one of many copies being generated by a 3-D printer, or hear that the earth is the subject of a rather cheerful invasion. Whatever the trouble, you still have to find your way . . .


Playful, sober, profound and profane, the characters in Karen Heuler’s stories may build bridges that no one else wants, or join up with a vengeful doll to fight the evil that men do, or remark upon the incursions of a worm that can change time. No matter what impossible event transpires, they face it. Rise up, they seem to say; rise up and meet the unexpected and the unacceptable, and make them yours.


Contains: ‘Here and There’, ‘Egg Island’, ‘The Stray Curse’, ‘Footsteps’, ‘Alien Corn’, ‘I Am’, ‘The Missy Show’, ‘Give Me Strength’, ‘The Lovely Kisselthwist’, ‘Figaro, Figueroa’, ‘The Completely Rechargeable Man’, ‘The Clockworm’, ‘The Right Chemistry’, ‘The Reordering of Tonia Vivian’, ‘Searching for Penny’, ‘Exile’, ‘The People in the Mirror’, ‘Calling Out’, ‘A Thing of Beauty and Light’.


Cover illustration ‘Twisted Twelve’ by Eric Freitas.


Karen Heuler’s stories have appeared in over 100 literary and speculative magazines and anthologies, from Conjunctions to Clarkesworld to Weird Tales, as well as a number of Best Of anthologies. She has received and almost-received a number of awards. This is her fourth story collection.



"Heuler’s voice is refreshingly original, and readers will find these stories remarkably inventive and brimming with ideas not found anywhere else in contemporary fantasy fiction." Publishers Weekly 'starred' review

"Tilted towards the literary end of speculative fiction, The Clockworm collection is reminiscent of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, recreated for our time. Readers looking for profound yet accessible stories are richly rewarded. As protagonist Nola reflects in ‘Here and There’, dreams don’t come true in the way you want or in the way you think. The unexpected in Heuler’s writing is addictive." Aurealis 120

‘Nineteen strange and intriguing stories, brilliantly written.’ Horla



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