Shadows on the Wall

Winner of the 2018 Australian Shadows Award for “Best Collected Work”

My short story collection, Shadows on the Wall, was published by IFWG Publishing Australia on 15th January, 2018. It contains 14 stories including 20,000 words of new fiction original to this collection.

It’s available in paperback and ebook from your preferred online retailer (links below) or from your favourite bookshop, so please buy yourself a copy if you like weird stories of science fiction, fantasy and horror. If you read it and like it, please tell your friends or post a review on the platform of your choice.

Cover painting and internal artwork by Shaun Tan.

Foreword by Isobelle Carmody.

Shadows on the Wall contains the very best of Paulsen’s dark and weird tales…plus stunning new fiction written expressly for this volume.

  • Glimpse a future where population controls force families into terrible choices.
  • Visit Colonial British India and experience the awakening of an eldritch horror.
  • Walk the steaming jungles of Vietnam alongside the spirits of the forest.
  • Light an ancient oil lamp but beware, the shadows on the wall.
  • And more…

“These stories are beautifully written and subtle, and in their subtlety, they linger uneasily in the minds…Their particular potency lies in the honed sharpness of the writing, in the repertoire of emotional responses to strangeness they offer through brilliant and detailed characterisation…They are shadows, shifting on the wall, barely seen, slipping into our minds to lie, light and cold over our hearts…”  Isobelle Carmody, author of the bestselling Obernewtyn Chronicles

“Paulsen’s body of work, as evidence by this impressive collection, explores the nature of our fears, effortlessly exposing us to shuddering horrors and milder terrors while drawing us in with utterly real characters.”  Kaaron Warren, author of the multi-award winning The Grief Hole

“Shadows on the Wall will take you into some dangerously dark places, places that you know you should not enter, but enter you will, for, alas, you won’t be able to help yourself. The stories contained within are rocket-fuelled with narrative drive. These subtle, ironic, humorous, and sometimes horrific extrapolations and fantasies showcase Paulsen’s wild talent and tight grip on craft.” – Jack Dann, multi-award winning, international bestselling author

“What an exceptional collection… What stands out in all of Paulsen’s works, from the flash to the long stories–is an unabashed depth of emotion, without a speck of melodrama or reader manipulation. The characters and settings don’t seem as if they’re constructed, everything is so alive, but also raw… It shouldn’t be, but it’s all too rare to find fiction that is sad and loving and beautiful, uncynical, yet fully engaged in the problems and tragedies of the world on a global down to the most personal levels.”  – Anna Tambour, World Fantasy award-winning Author

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword by Isobelle Carmody
  • Ma Rung
  • Two Tomorrow
  • Greater Garbo
  • In the Light of the Lamp
  • Logic Loop
  • Harold the Hero and the Talking Sword (written in collaboration with Jack Dann)
  • Fixed in Time (original to this collection)
  • The Place
  • The Wine Cellar (original to this collection)
  • Pest Control
  • Old Wood
  • The Sorcerer’s Looking Glass
  • Christmas Morning
  • The Black Diamond of the Elephant God (original to this collection)

  • Shadows on the Wall: Weird Tales of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and the Supernatural
  • Author: Steven Paulsen; Artwork (cover and frontispiece) by Shaun Tan
  • Short Fiction Collection: weird and dark fiction, including horror
  • Australian English
  • ISBN:  978-1-925496-44-4 (North America: 978-1-925496-57-4)
  • RRP: UK £15.99 AU$26.95 US$14.99 EU €12.99
  • Publisher: IFWG Publishing Australia (IFWG Publishing International in North America)
  • Mature Readers
  • 220 pages
  • Binding: Trade Paperback
  • Dimensions: 229mm x 152mm
  • eBook Formats: Amazon AU, Nook Book, iBook, Amazon US, Kobo
  • Key Words: Dark Fantasy, horror, weird, short fiction, collection
  • Publication Date: January 2018
  • Distribution: (Australia/NZ) Novella Distributors; (North America) SPU/IPG; (UK/Europe) Gazelle; (elsewhere) Neilsen/Ingram

Steven Paulsen is an award-winning writer whose speculative fiction has appeared in publications around the world. His bestselling dark fantasy children’s book, The Stray Cat, illustrated by Shaun Tan, has seen publication in several English and foreign language editions. His short stories, which Jack Dann describes as rocket-fueled with narrative drive, have appeared in a variety of magazines and in anthologies such as Terror Australis, Strange Fruit, Cthulhu: Deep Down Under, Fantastic Worlds, The Cthulhu Cycle, and the World Fantasy Award winning Dreaming Down-Under.

Steven has also written extensively about Australian horror and fantasy for publications such as Eidolon Interzone, Bloodsongs, Sirius, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, Fantasy Annual; The St James Guide to Horror, Ghost and Gothic Writers; and The Melbourne University Press Encyclopaedia of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy. His interviews with Australian SF writers have been published in magazine and book form in Australia, UK, Europe and the USA.

The original publisher’s announcement can be found here: