Around you the world is swirling. You pass through a submerged town, its steeples and trees barely visible through the thick water . . .
In the distance the wreck of the gunship HMS Elizabeth lolls on a sandbank. Oil slicks the canals of the capital and even now the old men still tell tales of mermen in the shallows . . .
A pool empty of water save for a brackish puddle and bones and hanks of fur on the floor - the remains of mice or possums that have tumbled in, lured perhaps by the moisture. Or perhaps by something else . . .
In bestselling author Chris Womersley's first short fiction collection, twenty watery, macabre and deliciously enjoyable tales will keep you spellbound until their final, unexpected and unsettling twist.
PRAISE FOR CHRIS WOMERSLEY
'By interweaving the trivial, the humorous and the grisliest of the grisly, Chris Womersley straps us in for a shivery ride.' New York Times
'Unrepentantly daring.' The Age
'Poetic and original.' The Monthly
'Brilliantly compelling.' Australian Women's Weekly
'A master storyteller.' Australian Book Review
PRAISE FOR A LOVELY AND TERRIBLE THING
'Womersley has the chops to write prose that looks realist, then seamlessly turns vertiginously weird. His deployment of the macabre has sufficient restraint, his imagination sufficient turn, that these stories maintain the power to shock' The Australian
'There is a formal elegance to his writing, even when the language is vernacular and the settings are domestic. This creates gloomily atmospheric stories with creepy momentum that bring to mind shades of Shirley Jackson and Edgar Allan Poe, but these are not horror stories per se.' The Age
'These stories, published between 2006 and 2017, stand the test of time and assert Womersley as a powerful writer of the short form.... This collection is playful, and skips between the known and unknown, the palatable and uncomfortable. Like water, t