Hair Side, Flesh Side

Cover by Erik Mohr

"I know the soft velvet of the flesh side and the smooth, oiled surface of the hair side. I have studied the pattern of follicles, traced the network of veins that undergirds our most precious documents, the records of civilization, the rise and fall of human knowledge . . ."

A child receives the body of Saint Lucia of Syracuse for her seventh birthday. A rebelling angel rewrites the Book of Judgment to protect the woman he loves. A young woman discovers the lost manuscript of Jane Austen written on the inside of her skin. A 747 populated by a dying pantheon makes the extraordinary journey to the beginning of the universe.

Lyrical and tender, quirky and cutting. Helen Marshall’s exceptional d├ębut collection weaves the fantastic and the horrific alongside the touchingly human in fifteen modern parables about history, memory and cost of creating art.

Hair Side, Flesh Side was released from ChiZine Publications in November 2012 and is available wherever books and eBooks are sold. For more information, visit

I am pleased to announce that Hair Side, Flesh Side has been short-listed for a 2013 Aurora Award for Best Related Work and  has been long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize. “No Ghosts in London” will be reprinted in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror: 2013, ed. Paula Guran.
. . . Sometimes a book comes along that is so original, so vibrantly alive, so beautifully imagined and so much a law unto itself that the only comment or advice a reviewer can offer is to say: go read it. Hair Side, Flesh Side is one such book, and having experienced it I am left with a genuine sense of excitement, thinking about where Helen Marshall might take us next.
—Nina Allan, Strange Horizons. Read the full review.

. . . Sometimes you hear people talking about the new face of horror. Well huddle closer, children. Hair Side, Flesh Side is it. . . . Marshall’s stories are frightening, touching, quirky, sexy and deeply lyrical. The 15 stories each seem deeply grounded in reality, making the otherworldly explorations all the more real.
—“Best F/SF Books of 2012,” January Magazine.