A tremor of desperation runs through Herniated Roots, the debut story collection from acclaimed short story writer Richard Thomas. Herniated Roots is filled with desperate characters that could be someone you know in these hard times: sexy pool hustlers, husband and wife teams, spurned lovers. In these stories you’ll read about a payoff with counterfeit bills and things that may or may not be happening. Thomas’ fiction will grab you hard and leave you wanting more.


“Richard Thomas’s stories are filled with a kind of dark magic shot through with danger. These are beautiful roses loaded with thorns. Take hold of them at your own risk and reward—be prepared for the most exquisite, ecstatic kind of pain.” – Amber Sparks, May We Shed These Human Bodies

“Richard Thomas writes seductively mordant prose. His powerful short stories are noir fables for the twenty-first century—gracefully controlled yet executed with a lethal precision. Precious few writers can provide a vital anatomy of the inner self. Thomas does so masterfully, presenting the darkest slices of the human soul.” – Darren Richard Carlaw, STEPAWAY MAGAZINE

“Richard Thomas can make his readers feel what he wants them to feel. He distills life into the moments that charge us, and he works them into honest and gripping prose, with visuals that invariably leave a mark.” – Pela Via, WARMED AND BOUND

“An outstanding short story writer who consistently nails the bull’s-eye.” – David Cranmer, BEAT TO A PULP

“Richard Thomas writes from the inglorious depths of human experience. Each sentence, blooming like a bruise, articulates the unspeakable truth of our own disappointment. In Herniated Roots, an aggressive collection of modern fables and cautionary tales, Thomas delivers the kind of prose that leaves you bloody on the inside. This is the kind of book that demands a second reading long before your ribs begin to heal.” -Daniel Casebeer, PEAR NOIR


Richard Thomas was the winner of the “Enter the World of Filaria” contest at ChiZine. He has published over sixty stories online and in print, including the Shivers VI anthology (Cemetery Dance) with Stephen King and Peter Straub, the Warmed and Bound anthology (Velvet Press), Speedloader (Snubnose Press), Murky Depths, Weird Fiction Review, Gargoyle, PANK, Metazen, Pear Noir!, Curbside Splendor, Polluto, Word Riot, 3:AM Magazine, Dark Moon Books, One Buck Horror, and Opium. His debut novel Transubstantiate was released in 2010. In his spare time he writes for The Nervous Breakdown and Lit Reactor. He is represented by Paula Munier at the Talcott Notch Literary Agency.

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