Spontaneous Human Combustion Releases in THREE DAYS. Here Is What People Are Saying.

My fourth short story collection, Spontaneous Human Combustion will be out on 2/22/22. I honestly think it’s some of my best work to date. Not sure if it’s for you? Here are the reviews and blurbs we’ve gotten so far.


Reviews for Spontaneous Human Combustion

“Thomas breathes fresh air into the genre of dark speculative fiction with a brilliant collection that teems with haunting elements, dark nostalgia for lost love, dysfunctional families, and self-torment. Equally devastating and refreshing, this is a collection to be savored by horror fans and literary readers alike.”—Starred Review at Publishers Weekly

“Fans of science fiction, horror, and dark fiction will relish immersing themselves in this collection for all its grit, lyricism, and unquestionable profundity.” —Library Journal

“Horror fans will be drawn to this compelling anthology.” —Booklist

“Each story is filled with vivid and evocative details and provides a fascinating journey that explores the dark places of our existence and engages its readers throughout…[Richard Thomas] does not disappoint.”—New York Journal of Books

Transgressive, dark and masterfully written—with Spontaneous Human Combustion Thomas forces the reader to run the gamut of human emotions. With beguiling and devastating prose one can’t help but see the beauty in the macabre morsels Thomas has given us to consume. A truly breathtaking collection.’—STORGY

“Richard Thomas pushes the envelope of what is possible in fiction, and strives to show us something truly sublime. Perhaps the collection is best summarized in…his story ‘Undone:’ ‘…everything I could never be, nothing we have been before.’” —Joseph Sale, at The Mindflayer

“…in the manner of some of the original American gothic writers, Thomas’s most fertile ground is the darkness of each human’s heart…This collection of fourteen stories shows an incredible range…Above all, this collection asks us to think about the true horrors of existence and about the sacrifices that must be made to hold those horrors at bay.”—Rhonda McDonnell

“Richard Thomas is a seasoned professional…He is such a fantastic writer with so much depth and subtext in every single paragraph. Every single line has punch to it…This collection is damn near perfect!” —Edward Lorn, author of Life After Dane

“Imaginative and propulsive, the stories of Spontaneous Human Combustion confront universal human fears in supernatural, futuristic worlds.”—Foreword Reviews

“If you dig Black Mirror or any surrealist, neo-noir fiction, then you definitely need to check this out, because this would be right up your alley.”—Jenny Ashford, 13 O’Clock Podcast (Tomes of Terror)

“Genius. Masterpiece. Auto-buy author. Best collection I’ve read in 2021. 10/10, will re-read these stories. Hell, I may even re-read a few over the next few days. Cannot recommend enough.”—The Nerdy Narrative

“It’s rare I read a collection of this size and feel each story is a 5 star read, but this one is it…Now I want to read EVERYTHING Richard Thomas has and anything he has coming out in the future. Top short story collection of the year for me—trust me, it had some steep competition too!”—The Nerdy Narrative

“This is our final recommendation for 2021.  In this new collection, Richard Thomas has crafted fourteen stories that push the boundaries of dark fiction in an intoxicating, piercing blend of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Equally provocative and profound, each story is masterfully woven with transgressive themes that burrow beneath the skin.”—Puzzle Box Horror

“There are a wondrous range of stories here from dark fiction to fantasy and horror, some with elements of sci-fi…all are beautifully written.”—Well Worth a Read

“My-oh-my did this one take me by surprise…strong and impressive…poignant, artful, and fun.”—Uncomfortably Dark


Blurbs for Spontaneous Human Combustion

“In range alone, Richard Thomas is boundless. He is Lovecraft. He is Bradbury. He is Gaiman.”—Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club

“Equally devastating and refreshing, this is a collection to be savored by horror fans and literary readers alike.”—Starred review at Publishers Weekly

“A feast for the senses, this collection is simultaneously lush and terrifying. Horror and dark fantasy fans are sure to find many delights within.”—A.C. Wise, author of Wendy, Darling

“Richard Thomas gives us a timely and eloquent reminder that, no matter how far we run, we take our darkness with us.”—Priya Sharma, author of Ormeshadow

“By turns poetic and brutal, this is a stellar collection.”—Lucy A. Snyder, author of Sister, Maiden, Monster

The language here is dense and richly evocative, achieving at times a transgressive and surreal quality reminiscent of Rimbaud in its beauty and brutality.” —Steve Rasnic Tem, author of Figures Unseen: Selected Stories and Thanatrauma

“Thomas masterfully combines noir and horror. He paints the beauty and the meanness of human life with an ease that belies how damned hard a trick it is to accomplish. Spontaneous Human Combustion is a bottle of the top shelf stuff—smooth, but it burns. Burns all the way to the bottom.”—Laird Barron, author of Swift to Chase 

“In this collection, Richard Thomas leads us through a vivid sequence of ever-darkening dreams. Strange, surreal, terrible and beautiful—I didn’t want to wake.”—Karen Runge, author of Doll Crimes

“With Spontaneous Human Combustion, Richard Thomas bravely leads us into the darkest recesses of the human soul. As always his writing is superb—precise, evocative and moving.”—Kate Jonez, author of Lady Bits

“Richard Thomas’s Spontaneous Human Combustion is a marvelous monster made of blood, anger, fear, guilt, grief, hunger, and pain. These gritty, blood-soaked stories pull readers into the darkness of the single black heart beating at the core of horror and noir, and somehow makes them love every second of it.”—Gabino Iglesias, author of Coyote Songs

“Dark, but rarely bleak. Punishing, but never sadistic. Thomas’s stories drag you into the light as often as they knock you into the abyss. A necessary collection.”—Doug Murano, Bram-Stoker winning editor of Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders

“Soaked in dread and wonder, Richard Thomas’ work has a way of worming deep into your heart to take hold like a beautiful sickness. And true to form, every piece in his magnificent Spontaneous Human Combustion hits like a fever dream you wish would never end.” —Matthew Lyons, author of The Night Will Find Us and A Black And Endless Sky

“Richard Thomas isn’t just writing stories in his new collection, he’s taking that part of yourself you look away from, the dark thoughts and forgotten nightmares, and showing them to you with the clarity and power only our best working writers possess. Take it from a guy who’s actually been on fire—Spontaneous Human Combustion delivers.” —Fred Venturini, author of The Heart Does Not Grow Back and To Dust You Shall Return

“Nothing will prepare you for Richard Thomas’ stories, for the brutality, for the intense white-hot horror, for the blood-soaked gorgeous beauty of his writing. Reading his fiction is like sinking into a fever dream, filled with an alien-yet-familiar wondrousness to it all that makes you long to be back inside those seductive terrors long after they’ve ended. I was not prepared: I can’t wait to return.”—Livia Llewellyn, author of Furnace 

“The stories in Spontaneous Human Combustion sizzle and burn. Richard Thomas is a narrator of the human condition at its most feral, and a master at the damnation game.”—Usman T. Malik, award-winning author of Midnight Doorways: Fables from Pakistan

“Richard Thomas brings us expertly crafted tales steeped in violence and beauty. Each richly detailed story teases the reader with equal parts emotion and stoicism. Spontaneous Human Combustion is truly a work of dark wonder.”—Bram Stoker Award-winning author Mercedes M. Yardley

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