dispatch from the unholy head of brass

The third novella from BrazenHead, The Grigori by Joshua Skye, has gone to press. The book-book should start showing up for sale in the usual on-line places within a week or so, while the e-book will take a little longer.

Mr. A lurks in the derelict grand hotel, a haunt of junkies and their dealers, hustlers and runaways, petty criminals.

On a night like any other, a man, a notorious family-values politician, dies in the hotel’s ruined lobby. Suspended from a splendid chandelier, the body is bound with duct tape as if for some sordid S&M scene gone terribly wrong. The man has been disemboweled, intestines spilling from the gash in his belly to the dusty floor. Mr. A is watching, watching.

“You know, everyone seems to think that angels are these cute little innocent baby-looking m*th*rf*ck*rs but the Bible describes them very, very differently… Angels are angry, crazy and mean as hell. They have four faces and only one of them is human. Their primary job isn’t to save our souls or help us find love. They like to kill and they’re good at it.”

Who is Mr. A? Mr. A is death. Mr. A is salvation. Mr. A is love.
MR. A IS THE GRIGORI.

The Grigori answers the question, ‘What would happen if we met an old-school angel?’ That it happens in Pittsburgh amid a wasteland of hustlers and drugs does not diminish either angel’s—or this story’s—reckless dominion.

—Steve Berman, editor of the Wilde Stories annual anthology series


I’m disappointed Publishers Weekly elected not to review Joshua’s book, breaking BrazenHead’s streak. Even a negative review might have been better than resounding, brazen silence. But these things happen and I remain proud to publish The Grigori. It’s a thoroughly chilling little story that offers a bracing corrective to the contemporary notion of angels as benign, wispy entities rather than the stern, awe-inspiring, and terrible beings reported in all the Abrahamic traditions. As a writer myself, too, I’m startled and shaken by Joshua’s inspired vision of methamphetamine as well as his deft deployment of physical passion. (In plainer words, there’s hot sex. If that isn’t a recommendation I don’t know what is.) Go. Buy. Read.

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