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Stephen Dedman

Never Seen by Waking Eyes:

Two dozen dark tales from one of Australia's finest genre writers

"Someone really ought to kill this Dedman character. He's that good." -- Spider Robinson

Never Seen by Waking Eyes
Trade Paperback (6" X 9")
228 pages
ISBN: 0-9766544-0-7
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Drawing on inspiration from such diverse sources as Japanese mythology, European folklore, modern urban legends, and ancient native Australian and American traditions, as well as the literature of Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, Bram Stoker, Lewis Carroll, and Edgar Allan Poe -- the author tells stories of humanity's deepest desires and most dreadful nightmares. Dedman journeys into the past, present, and future...to the jungles of Malaysia, outback ghost towns, and modern metropolises...to places both too familiar and unfamiliar to give comfort.

An accomplished storyteller, Dedman re-imagines supernatural entities like vampires, succubi, and ghosts and combines them with modern terrors such as ecological and scientific horrors and the eternal evils of the political and the rperverse. His stories are disturbing, erotic, or amusing -- or any combination of the three.

With one original story and several never published in the United States or the United Kingdom, Never Seen by Waking Eyes will serve as an apt introduction for many to the darker short works of Stephen Dedman.


Stephen Dedman

Stephen Dedman

Stephen Dedman is the author of the novels The Art of Arrow Cutting, Shadows Bite, and Foreign Bodies. He has escaped from several institutions of higher education, where he studied writing, theatre, and film history. He has worked as a video librarian, a proofreader, a game designer, an experimental subject, a dinosaur salesman, a museum exhibit, the manager of a science fiction bookshop, and an actor (last seen abducting two teenage girls on Australia's Most Wanted). His publisher notes that Dedman appears to be the only man in the sf/f/h field with hair to rival Bob Eggleton's. For a regularly updated bibliography and other info, go to his LiveJournal.

(Photo by Scott Edelman)


Hellnotes Review by Chris Welch

November 10, 2005
Infrapress; Trade paperback; 227 pages; $15.95 US

Stephen Dedman's NEVER SEEN BY WAKING EYES is a collection of 24 short-stories. Most have been previously published, but a few are new to this collection.

These stories are a mixture of horror, science-fiction, and fantasy, but they are more than just that; they are often erotic, often amusing, but always -- always -- thought-provoking.

Themes range from issues of racism, environmentalism, abuse, sexuality, technology, and religion. Settings vary in time and place; from the modern era to the near-future, from the Australian Outback, to Asia, to Britain, to the American Old West.

It is impossible to count the literary references Dedman makes in this collection. A number of stories draw on traditional supernatural folklore and urban legends (vampires, succubi, even the "The Twa Corbies") but they are also expertly combined with allusions to writers such as Poe, Stoker, Robert Bloch, T.S. Eliot, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, and the Brothers Grimm. There are probably more, but these are the obvious ones. In short, this is a book that any writer, any avid reader, or any English major should own.

It is hard to pick any "stand-out" stories here, because frankly, all 24 stories are stand-outs. Dedman has the skills that make other writers jealous.

Nonetheless, stories that get special recognition are "Never Seen by Waking Eyes," which is about a little girl vampire and a man obsessed with Carroll; "Watch," which is a modern King Lear retelling with a supernatural twist; "Salvation," is story that must be read, because it is impossible to discuss it without giving away the ending but it is the strongest emotional story in the collection; "Heir of the Wolf," is a darkly amusing history lecture on Red Riding Hood; "Til Human Voices Wake Us," is an Old West/urban legend/classic mythology erotic horror tale, and a companion story, "The Ghoul Goes West," fills in some back-story for somebody who will eventually meet a certain Transylvanian Count; and likewise with "The Facts in Dr. Van Helsing's Case." For really good frights, though, the stories "Honest Ghosts" and "Upon a Midnight Clear" will appease pure horror fans.

Buy a copy of NEVER SEEN BY WAKING EYES now, and you will thank me later. Trust me. I was an English major.


Publisher's Weekly Review

July 18, 2005
Never Seen by Waking Eyes
STEPHEN DEDMAN. infrapress (www.infrapress.com), $15.95 paper
(228p) ISBN 0-9766544-0-7
Australian author Dedman (Foreign Bodies) fills his first U.S. story collection with 24 erudite, highly unusual weird tales, many with a strong erotic charge. Several selections pay tribute to favorite authors, most notably Lewis Carroll in the poignant title story, which refreshingly does not depict the author of Alice in Wonderland as a pedophile. Vampires mix strangely with T.S. Eliot's poetry in "Waste Land." Other memorable tales include "'Til Human Voices Wake Us," which Dedman describes in his brief afterword as "the best erotic cross-dressing lesbian cowboy romance ghost story I've ever written"; "Upon the Midnight Clear," a grisly Christmas yarn; and "Salvation," set in an Australian desert town with a porn museum dedicated to the memory of a former resident who succeeded in the larger world but returned home in an urn. At times Dedman can't resist going for the easy gag, but his more serious efforts show he's an imaginative writer who deserves wider recognition. (Aug.)



A Single Shadow
Probable Cause
The Lady of Situations
Waste Land
A Sentiment Open to Doubt
What You Wish For
The Completist
The Dance that Everyone Must Do
Honest Ghosts
The Ghoul Goes West
'Til Human Voices Wake Us
Heir of the Wolf
The Wind Sall Blow for Ever Mair
Double Action
The Facts in Dr Van Helsing's Case
Nothing Like the Sun
Upon the Midnight Clear
The Pillar
Never Seen by Waking Eyes