Worlds of Hurt

Demon est Deus inversus… 

They are the Misbegotten — once mortal men and women, from different times and different lands, who have all run afoul of a monstrous deity that remade them into undying predators. They are the creatures of our world’s darkest folklore, who hunger for flesh and blood … but who hunger for revenge most of all.

Beginning with his novellas for Poppy Z. Brite’s acclaimed Love In Vein anthologies, Brian Hodge has been weaving an ongoing story cycle into what’s been called “a mythos every bit as dismal and bleak as Lovecraft’s Elder Gods.”

Worlds of Hurt collects, for the first time, the first four chapters of the Misbegotten mythos into a single volume:

“The Alchemy of the Throat” — A modern-day castrato soprano becomes the latest in a line of indispensable companions to an ancient benefactor. (Bram Stoker Award finalist)

“The Dripping of Sundered Wineskins” — The immortal Sisters of the Trinity catapult an Irish stigmatic toward his destiny of being either a saint or a butcher. (World Fantasy Award finalist)

“When the Bough Doesn’t Break” — The testament of Saint Patrick the Fallen lures a pair of young seekers to rural Ireland, where an agent of divine retribution waits to be unleashed.

World of Hurt — The short novel that Rue Morgue said “makes Lovecraft’s Old Ones seem downright compassionate.”

Nearly half his life ago, Andrei spent 38 minutes as a corpse. It’s not a secret he shares with many people. Especially these last six years, ever since the comforting lie of tunnels and white lights crumbled away to leave him with the memory of what he really found on the other side of death…

Not Hell, but something worse: a Heaven unlike anything he’d ever been taught to expect.

Now, as Heaven seeks to reclaim him, Andrei awakens to the hidden truths of this world and the next, caught between two sides waging a clandestine war for the soul of the world, in which everything he’s ever taken for granted about good and evil has just been turned upside-down.

When death is no escape, what do you do? Andrei has a desperate need to know, as the clock runs out on the most excruciating moral choice of his life.


“[World of Hurt] packs an emotional wallop that will send its audience reeling. As always, the author’s prose is sleek and muscular, his narrative both poetic and poignant as he delivers what may be his most thought-provoking work yet.” — The Boulder Daily Camera

“Hodge creates a palpable, sometimes overwhelming sense of dread on almost every page … it’s obvious that he is a talent worth watching with great interest.” — The Horror Channel

“Hodge creates a mythos every bit as dismal and bleak as Lovecraft’s Elder Gods … There is no cold Lovecraftian phrasing here, but pages suffused with warmth and genuine awe for the human spirit, as Hodge handles his characters with a respect and emotion that we’ve come to expect.” — Hellnotes

“The plot is clever, and the writing is simply excellent, but World of Hurt’s real power stems from its characters.” — Rue Morgue

“[World of Hurt] compresses an epic’s worth of complexity, vision, and the mythic horrific into one little lean, mean heartbreak machine … This is spiritual hardcore horror, both brutal and transcendent. And it will punch you right in the soul.” — John Skipp, co-author of The Light At The End