Item description for Ugly Heaven, Beautiful Hell by Jeffrey Thomas...
Jeffrey Thomas and Carlton Mellick III collaborate on their own twisted visions of heaven and hell. UGLY HEAVEN At one point in time, Heaven was a paradise. It was a blissful utopia full of wonders far beyond human comprehension. But that was a long, long time ago. The afterlife is now in ruins. It has become an ugly, lonely wasteland populated by strange monstrous beasts, masturbating angels, and sad man-like beings wallowing in the remains of the once-great Kingdom of God. As two recently departed souls arrive in Heaven, they discover their eternal home is not one of divine peace but of nightmarish ugliness. So they go on a quest to explore this dead alien landscape, desperately seeking answers, allies, and some sort of place they can forever call home. BEAUTIFUL HELL A writer named Frank Lyre finds himself damned to an afterlife where Demons and Angels are equally sadistic and conflicted, where torturers become seducers, where Jesus likes to sit for a pleasant chat and God is not only going through monstrous changes to His body, but a personal crisis that might forever change His vision of creation. Beautiful Hell is a sequel of sorts to Jeffrey Thomas's acclaimed novel Letters From Hades, but stands on its own as a harrowing study of damnation and regeneration, physical passion and emotional pain, faith and rebellion, and the conflict between the spirit and the flesh.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.3" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Dec 3, 2007
Publisher CORROSION PRESS
ISBN 1929653867 ISBN13 9781929653867
Availability 0 units.
More About Jeffrey Thomas
Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire has been writing Lovecraftian weird fiction since he was a young girl in the 1970s. His first American collection was published by Jeffrey Thomas, through his Necropolitan Press, in 1997. Pugmire's books include The Tangled Muse, Some Unknown Gulf of Night, The Strange Dark One, Uncommon Places, The Fungal Stain, and Gathered Dust and Others. In April of this year Arcane Wisdom Press will publish a new collection, Bohemians of Sesqua Valley. Wilum is currently writing his first novel, inspired by Derleth's The Lurker at the Threshold, and he will be working on an Enoch Coffin novel with Jeff in some dim future aeon. Jeffrey Thomas is the author of such novels as Deadstock, Blue War, Letters from Hades, and The Fall of Hades, and such short story collections as Punktown, Nocturnal Emissions, Thirteen Specimens, and Unholy Dimensions. His stories have appeared in the anthologies The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, The Year's Best Horror Stories, Leviathan 3, The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, and The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction. Forthcoming from Miskatonic River Press is a role-playing game based upon Thomas' universe of Punktown. Thomas is also an artist, and lives in Massachusetts.
Reviews - What do customers think about Ugly Heaven, Beautiful Hell?
Mellick does it again. Jun 23, 2008
I've had the privilege of reading many Mellick books prior to this one, but it was my introduction to Thomas. The First half of the book is classic Mellick. I do sense the he is getting more ambitious with his characters and settings with time. It's his humor that keeps the stories together but there is also a linear running plot. Jeffery Thomas's Beautiful Hell was very good too. Thamas is a talented writer whose descriptions are vivid and wonderful. I felt that His second half of the book was a little heavier than Mellick's. Either way it's worth picking up and checkout out.
Two of my favorite writers in one book! Mar 10, 2008
'Ugly Heaven, Beautiful Hell' is really two separate books. The singular theme holding them together seems to be the appearance of God in both. Carlton Mellick III has come up with some interesting ideas of heaven in the past (Punk Land), and Jeffrey Thomas has explored Hell (Letters From Hades) but each author has come up with something all new for our divine afterlife.
In 'Ugly Heaven', the utopian heaven of the bible has died and been left in ruins. The shadows of hell now stalk the grounds. God is absent and hasn't been seen in eons. A man wakes up, dangling from a twisted tree, with no memory of who or what he was. All he knows is that he's changed. His new name is Tree, and he has yellow skin with patterns whirling over it. He meets Salmon, a pink man with patterns. A third man named Rowak leads them to a city where CLOTTA (all caps) runs the city and decides whether people are accepted in above ground or underground Heaven. Will Tree get to live above or below? Will he pick up too many shadows in Heaven, making him undesirable?
I love Carlton Mellick III. He uses such imaginative, offbeat phrases like "The pain is like bananas on a barbeque" or "Like sun-peaches and pools of mercury swimming through the air." Using unknown colors, bizarre vegetation, smells that don't make sense (and let's not even talk about going to the bathroom) Mellick paints a Heaven that you won't be sure you want to go there. My only problem was that the story ended abruptly, without conclusion, making it frustrating.
Mellick is one of my favorite horror/punk/parody/gross-out authors, a true master of the Bizarro. There is depth behind his simplistic prose, and humor all around it. What at first seems unsophisticated quickly becomes a firm identity to the characters, and you realize the intelligence behind the naivety. Yes, it's all on purpose, and you've just been had!
In 'Beautiful Hell', Thomas has written a semi-extension to his famous 'Letters From Hades' book, revisiting the same Hell he created before but this time in the underground city of Jigoku. God is coming to visit Hell, bringing with him his newly created daemons called Cephalopodaemons, somewhat like a flying Octopus. The Celestials, Popes, Sisters Of Mercy, and Harlequin Cherubs accompany him.
This upsets the running of Hell, specifically Jigoku where God is arriving, and the Daemons called Singers who rule Jigoku. There are already wars with the Damned (human souls) and Daemons in all of Hades cities. Living as a slave in Jigoku is Frank Lyre, who's fallen for his Singer Daemon Oni. He's in a dilemma because one of God's Sisters Of Mercy traveling to hell is his earthly wife Lupe. Lyre is friends with the author of Letters From Hades, which The Son is now reading with great interest.
Of greatest concern is the Creator's Epiphany, in which he is transforming his physical conformation. Is God insane? During his transformation, does he become mortal? Neither Heaven nor Hell can answer these questions. In the meantime, there's going to be a tremendous battle in Hell, between the Creator and his creations, and Lyre finds himself in the middle of it all.
Jeffrey Thomas is a very talented writer. Check out the several books he's written on Punktown, Thomas's greatest world created to date. (Punktown, Deadstock, Monstocity, Everybody Scream!) He creates beautiful, bizarre, and fantastical world with the ease of a true artist, and never leaves his characters un-fleshed.
I highly recommend this book, and all books by both Carlton Mellick III and Jeffrey Thomas. Enjoy these great authors!
The Afterlife is Completely Messed Up! Jan 4, 2008
This book is 2 novellas with a similar theme - there's something wrong in both heaven and hell. Each author involved takes on one location. Even though the stories are not intertwined, they compliment each other very well.
I REALLY like the way that Jeffrey Thomas writes and my favourite of his works is Letters from Hades. His piece in this book is a companion piece to that work that centers on a character met in that earlier story. Now immortal "dead" humans are being tormented by demons who are questioning their own place in the "system". And some of them are getting involved in inter-"racial" romances and even falling in love. Throw in a visit by the creator who is having an identity crisis and his son who stops by for a nice chat and this story rocks!
I hadn't read anything by Carlton Mellick III before. In his story, god is absent in heaven, many of the angels are missing and those who find themselves there are left awash without answers and surrounded by mysteries. Those who were once human have set up a barter system for getting along that involves trading small pieces of their souls for what they need - including sex and/or company. Two recently arrived souls find that the terrain is ugly, populated by monstrous creature and deadly. And still, they set out to explore.
I generally don't like stories that leave the endings too open. But, while both of these come to clear conclusions you are left wanting more. And both authors have cleverly left some unanswered questions that would easily allow them to revisit these characters and these locations.
Well done. I am suitably impressed and want more!!!!