The New Abject
Tales of Modern Unease
Book type: Anthology
Published: 29 Oct 2020
SOMETHING HAS FALLEN AWAY. We have lost a part of ourselves, our history, what we once were. That something, when we encounter it again, look it straight in the eyes, disgusts us, makes us retch. This is the horror of the abject.
Following the success of Comma’s award-winning New Uncanny anthology, The New Abject invites leading authors to respond to two parallel theories of the abject – Julia Kristeva’s theory of the psychoanalytic, intimate abject, and Georges Bataille’s societal equivalent – with visceral stories of modern unease. As we become ever-more isolated by social media bubbles, or the demands for social distancing, our moral gag-reflex is increasingly sensitised, and our ability to tolerate difference, or ‘the other’, atrophies. Like all good horror writing, these stories remind us that exposure to what unsettles us, even in small doses, is always better than pretending it doesn’t exist. After all, we can never be wholly free of that which belongs to us.
Part of Comma's Modern Horror series.
"This eerie, provocative anthology redefines modern horror for our era." - The Skinny
"These stories threaten to puncture the real." - Lucy Writer's Platform
"A pleasingly diverse range of approaches to its unifying theme." - Sublime Horror
"This anthology is thoughtful, evocative, and inventive by turns, and the editors may well have picked some of the best short fiction of 2020." - Horrified Magazine
"Unsettling, disturbing, but highly entertaining, this collection of new horror fiction is a definite recommendation" - Hannah's Bookshelf
"This is a thoughtful but fun anthology that will hopefully unite readers from across the literary spectrum." - Ginger Nuts of Horror
"A chilling and intriguing anthology that asks the reader to consider how it feels when the borders of the self are broached." - The Indie Insider
"A fabulous collection" - Ross Jeffery
As featured in Mint Velvet's Thriller Reads.
As featured in Whistles' Halloween Reading List.
Read an interview with Saleem Haddad about his contribution to the book at Ginger Nuts of Horror.
Read an interview with Ramsey Campbell about his contribution to the book at Ginger Nuts of Horror.
Read an interview with Sarah Schofield about her contribution to the book at Ginger Nuts of Horror.
Read an interview with Christine Poulson and Lara Williams about their contributions to the book at Ginger Nuts of Horror.
Read a preview of The New Abject at HAUNT Manchester.
Listen to an extract from Ramsey Campbell's story, 'Extending the Family', read by the author.
Listen to an extract from Karen Featherstone's story, 'missusedwards', read by the author, on YouTube.
Watch the launch event with contributing authors Ramsey Campbell, Matthew Holness and Lucie McKnight Hardy hosted by Andy Murray on YouTube. In collaboration with the Northern SHort Story Festival.
Watch the panel event with contributing authors Gaia Holmes and Saleem Haddad, hosted by Rob O'Connor on YouTube. In collaboration with York St John University and York Literature Festival.
Understanding The New Abject: the theories behind the fiction on The Comma Press Blog.
'The Reservoir' by Meave Haughey, as featured in Best British Short Stories 2021 (published by Salt).