Use Once, then Destroy

Night Shade Books, 2004

“Conrad Williams is a skilled craftsman who demonstrates how vivid, unsettling, and lingering dark fiction can be. He wields mood and suggestive detail with an accomplished hand and evokes images that can turn the normal into nightmare. Use Once, then Destroy is one of the most solid collections of disturbing but engaging work you’re likely to find on the shelves today.”
Tom Piccirilli

“Williams is without doubt one of the finest fantasists writing today.”
Tim Lebbon

“A writer of extraordinary talent; stories that shine dark light into the world’s shadows.”
Michael Marshall Smith

‘”This guy is good, and he’s only going to get better. Use Once, then Destroy is thoughtful, toxic, and very, very hard to put down.”
Wes Unruh, Green Man Review

“…one of the more inventive and gifted writers of horror and dark SF to emerge in the past decade.”
Tim Pratt, Locus

“…depraved and elegantly ambivalent stories… Williams writes with a poetic brutality that definitely makes him a dark voice to note.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“…a genuine, deeply macabre spellbinder.”
Ray Olson, Booklist
“Conrad Williams’ style might be summed up as ‘baroque M. John Harrison’; where Harrison writes with inevitable grace, however, Williams’ writing is sometimes a poetic bludgeon to be survived. It’s an assault, too, that comes out of a thick obscuring darkness. You can never see exactly what the assailant looks like; can never tell, with any precision, exactly what happens. With a collection like this, you realize he rarely allows the reader the healing power of redemption and his onslaught can leave some nasty scars. But that’s the thing about scars – they stay with you. Even after the surface mends, there’s sometimes deeper damage that doesn’t show. Watch out for Mr. Conrad Williams. In a world of impuissant poseurs who can’t prick the thinnest skin when they pick up a pen, he’s a sick and dangerous bastard who wields a nasty weapon with his words.”
Paula Guran, Cemetery Dance
“USE ONCE, THEN DESTROY showcases the breadth of Williams’ formidable talent. These stories fall within the spectrum of psychological and supernatural horror, although such lines are often blurred by the hallucinogenic quality of his prose. Much of his work details the grit and grime of urban landscapes, the bleakness of physical and emotional isolation and the scarification of the soul that occurs all around us, if not within us, every day. Dense, often ambiguous, worthy of rereading; one of the most accomplished collections I’ve encountered.”
Laird Barron

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