Del Rey: February 2002 (Hardcover, ISBN: 034544647X)
Del Rey: April 2003 (Trade Paperback, ISBN: 0345446496)
Buy at your local bookstore!
(Also available in unabridged audio read by the author and Harlan Ellison. Download from iTunes .)

Cemetery Dance (2000)
Limited Edition
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DEMONS by John
They can't be real.

This is the world of fast food restaurants and childrens' meals with toys that become their own layer of landfill; this is the world of shopping malls and MTV Video Awards and People magazine's Sexiest Man of the Year; this is the world of bacteria and old people's homes and EKGs and thousands more layers of landfill. This is not a world in which demons could invade by the thousands and rampage through the population, killing hundreds of thousands in a single day -- seven kinds of demons for, as one of them puts it, "Seven kinds of fun."

This can't be happening.

But it is.

You can get used to anything. You got used to this world... didn't you? [more]


Starred review, Publishers Weekly 24 July 00
Horror fiction that traffics in the supernatural perforce sometimes deals with matters of psycho-spiritual import. Rarely does it tackle them as directly as in this exciting, vigorously original novella...The book is brief, but Shirley packs into it an epic's worth of imagination and ideas...With its potent underlying philosophy, serious theme, fresh vision and taut storytelling, this little novel makes a big impact.

[Full Review]

Shirley blows the lid off evil, giving it the widest possible range to wreak havoc...While the novel presents a war between good and evil waged on a grand scale, Shirley has not forsaken his craft of drawing intimate character studies...a miniature epic in which the diabolical aspects of our troubled times materialize with dreadful implacability...This haunted novelist, like one of his book's heroes, cannot help hearing "the groan of the world." After reading DEMONS, the reader's ears will become uneasily open as well. -- Michael Alec Rose

[Full Review]

Booklist, Feb 1, 2002
Shirley's well-turned apocalyptic tale, redolent with the terror of inexplicable carnage, is two novels in one...and Shirley links the two episodes nearly seamlessly...Shirley plays well with the old themes of universal consciousness and spiritual enlightenment as well as the darkness and light in the human psyche. His brand of horror mixes the blatant -- corporeal demons -- and the subtle to disclose the merely human capacity for atrocity...Well done horror with lots of soul-searching. -- Regina Schroder

[Full Review]

Kirkus Reviews, Dec 15, 2001
Masterful, amusing, and sent from Mars.

[Full Review]

Horror Garage #5Spring/Summer 2002
As a fast-paced adventure tale, almost a paean to classic alien-invasion horror stories, Demons is riveting and the resonance of the story's deeper meanings make it truly remarkable. It's both frightening and enlightening...[The book entails] escalating scenes of horror:an entire town of shambling poison-maddened living dead; sewers full of vicious toxin-contaminated cannibals; piles of corpses; and finally a giant demon, the embodiment and implement of humankind's destruction...John Shirley accomplishes what few writers can even attempt: horror that arises from real modern fears mixed with metaphysical meaning and social consciousness -- all written with vigor and style.

[Full Review]

San Francisco Bay Guardian
Demons proves [Shirley's] a kind of pop magic realist, mingling religious themes with flotsam from contemporary mass culture to create a vertiginous world where reports of demonic invasion come to you via the Internet...[Demons is] an allegory for our time, full of creepy splendor and excitement...a brave and smart book. Read it if you dare.

[Full Review]

Publishers Weekly, Feb 18, 2002
[A] crafty elaboration of the dark metaphysics in the original parable about corporate greed...Shirley succeeds in fashioning an over-the-top occult thriller solidly anchored in a bedrock of social consciousness.

[Full Review]

Locus, Feb. 2002
John Shirley is a fine writer, well versed in the ways and means of fear, and DEMONS is an impressive addition to his body of work.

[Full Review]

Library Journal, Mar. 2002
The apocalypse has come and gone and demons prowl Earth, forging a path of violence and torture as they rampage across the planet. A few scientists, aided by a young San Franciscan artist, pool their resources in a bold maneuver to end the reign of these creatures. From the streets of America's cities to the heart of the Middle East, Shirley's latest novel, based on an earlier story, combines fast-paced action, outrageous science, and graphic horror.

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More about Demons...

In a future uncomfortably close to the present day, hideous demons have inexplicably invaded. They roam the streets in an orgy of terror, drawing pleasure from torturing humans as sadistically as possible. Divided into seven clans, these grisly invaders -- gnashing, writhing, bloodthirsty monsters -- seem horrifically to belong in our world.

Ira, a young San Francisco artist, becomes involved with a strange group of scientists and philosophers desperately trying to end the bloody siege. Yet through it all, Ira continues to paint -- for in his canvasses lie crucial clues to the demons' origins.

Yet the demons draw their strength from an all-too-familiar evil -- a deadly malevolence supported by some of the greatest powers on earth, concealed beneath the trappings of status, success, and abused power. Ira and his allies -- including a compelling young seeress -- come to believe these demons didn't just appear. They were summoned. But the most shocking revelation is yet to come...

Demons: Original and Version II:

The original novella DEMONS was published as an acclaimed, limited edition hardcover that Publishers Weekly called a "mini-masterpiece." With he Del Rey editions the novel is completed and the terror continues, as UNDERCURRENTS, takes the reader on a macabre journey into the center of the conspiracy that may lay waste to the Earth.