100 books like The Dedalus Book of Surrealism

By Michael Richardson,

Here are 100 books that The Dedalus Book of Surrealism fans have personally recommended if you like The Dedalus Book of Surrealism. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories

G.G. Andrew Author Of Crazy, Sexy, Ghoulish

From my list on Halloween romance books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a lifelong fan of Halloween, from the time I visited my town’s haunted house as a young kid in the 1980s to watching horror movies as an adult. As a writer of romance and romantic women’s fiction, love stories are also my jam. Many people think horror and romance aren’t compatible, but I combined both in my novella series Crazy, Sexy, Ghoulish, and the books in this list prove that Halloween and romance are meant to be.

G.G.'s book list on Halloween romance books

G.G. Andrew Why did G.G. love this book?

I return to this dark, sensual collection of Angela Carter stories most autumns, often through audio book. While these are not technically romance stories, they’re what I call romance-adjacent: fairy tales centered on love and passion—and their dangers—with gorgeous language and twists that subvert your expectations.

My favorite story here is “In the Company of Wolves,” but really that’s like choosing a favorite child.

By Angela Carter,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Bloody Chamber as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With an introduction by Helen Simpson. From familiar fairy tales and legends - Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss in Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires and werewolves - Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.


Book cover of The Garden of Hermetic Dreams

Mike Russell Author Of Strange Medicine

From my list on strange, weird, surreal short story collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hello. My name is Mike Russell. I write books (novels, short story collections, and novellas) and make visual art (mostly paintings, occasionally sculptures). I love art and books that are surreal and magical because that is the way life seems to me, and I love art and books that are mind-expanding because we need to expand our minds to perceive just how surreal and magical life is. My books have been described as strange fiction, weird fiction, surrealism, magic realism, fantasy fiction… but I just like to call them Strange Books.

Mike's book list on strange, weird, surreal short story collections

Mike Russell Why did Mike love this book?

This is a wonderful selection of short stories and novel extracts by early authors of strange, weird, surreal fiction; writers whose subject is the so-called supernatural and who rail against the reduction of life to rational materialism. These works would broadly now be referred to as weird fiction. They are only as weird as the world. The book also contains an excellent introduction by the editor, speaking up for the strange, weird, and surreal.

By Gary Lachman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Garden of Hermetic Dreams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

' Lachman presents a generous anthology of literary texts inspired by the weird, the supernatural and the gothic. From Beckford's Vathek to Gustav Meyrink's The Golem, there is a successful balance of the well-known, the esoteric and the curious.' Stuart Kelly in Scotland on Sunday 'The first item, from William Beckford's Vathek, indicates the feverish imaginings gathered in this "occult reader". It encompasses drugs, sacrifice, a genii and an Indian who becomes irresistibly arousing by transforming himself into a ball. ETA Hoffman's The Golden Flower Pot shows how this writer's fertile imagination can animate even everyday objects, as in his…


Book cover of The Complete Cosmicomics

Mike Russell Author Of Strange Medicine

From my list on strange, weird, surreal short story collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hello. My name is Mike Russell. I write books (novels, short story collections, and novellas) and make visual art (mostly paintings, occasionally sculptures). I love art and books that are surreal and magical because that is the way life seems to me, and I love art and books that are mind-expanding because we need to expand our minds to perceive just how surreal and magical life is. My books have been described as strange fiction, weird fiction, surrealism, magic realism, fantasy fiction… but I just like to call them Strange Books.

Mike's book list on strange, weird, surreal short story collections

Mike Russell Why did Mike love this book?

If, like me, you like to wonder at the cosmos and its apparent absurdity, this is a great collection. A lot of the humour comes from juxtaposing the mundane with the cosmic and taking a simple premise to extremes, rather like Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

By Italo Calvino,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Cosmicomics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Italo Calvino's enchanting stories about the evolution of the universe, with characters that are fashioned from mathematical formulae and cellular structures, The Complete Cosmicomics is translated by Martin McLaughlin, Tim Parks and William Weaver in Penguin Modern Classics.

'Naturally, we were all there, - dld Qfwfq said, - where else could we have been? Nobody knew then that there could be space. Or time either: what use did we have for time, packed in there like sardines?'

The Cosmicomics tell the story of the history of the universe, from the big bang, through millennia and across galaxies. It is witnessed…


Book cover of The Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus

Mike Russell Author Of Strange Medicine

From my list on strange, weird, surreal short story collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hello. My name is Mike Russell. I write books (novels, short story collections, and novellas) and make visual art (mostly paintings, occasionally sculptures). I love art and books that are surreal and magical because that is the way life seems to me, and I love art and books that are mind-expanding because we need to expand our minds to perceive just how surreal and magical life is. My books have been described as strange fiction, weird fiction, surrealism, magic realism, fantasy fiction… but I just like to call them Strange Books.

Mike's book list on strange, weird, surreal short story collections

Mike Russell Why did Mike love this book?

This is the book I used to read with a torch under the bedcovers as a kid. It introduced me to many great science fiction writers. My copy had an excellent cover depicting an ice cream with an eyeball staring out of it. I loved entering the book’s different worlds. It inspired me to lie awake at night, speculating about the universe, only to awake the next morning wondering if this was the day when the school teacher would say, ‘OK enough of these spellings and sums, let’s talk about why life exists.’ I still don’t understand why it never happened.

Book cover of My Most Secret Desire

Rikke Villadsen Author Of The Clitoris

From my list on sweeping you to a strange surreal world of dreams.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a surrealist since I discovered Salvador Dali and David Lynch at the age of 14. I have been on a path to combine the art world’s depth in style; symbols and metaphors with storytelling. Becoming a comic artist was a natural path and the media is great for expressing the many complex questions in life; what it is to be human and a woman in this world. I have become an artist who revolves around feminism and surrealism, eros and doubt. 

Rikke's book list on sweeping you to a strange surreal world of dreams

Rikke Villadsen Why did Rikke love this book?

This comic is a 1:1 dream story. It has the weirdness and absurdity of dreams. It is about Juliet herself and is an autobiographical classic. And it made me wonder how very personal feelings in your dreams are actually universal. It also has feministic potential, being very honest with all its dreamy gender chaos and strangeness. And it’s funny.

By Julie Doucet,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Most Secret Desire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Doucet has transcribed her intimate dreams i nto intensely drawn comic book stories, remembering everythi ng from tormenting nightmares to her most secret desires. Th e widely acclaimed young cartoonist offers us a unique psych edelic trip. '


Book cover of Full Throttle

Matt Durand Author Of White Space: Short Fictions

From my list on blending science fiction, horror, and surrealism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a lifelong lover of short fiction, novels, and comic books since I can remember. Ideas were always king, leading me to a career in the creative arts as a graphic designer with years of experience in the world of advertising. Much of the core of what I did for advertising—crafting brief tales to engage with an audience in a creative/unique way—translated over well to when I began writing my own short stories. And all of the book recommendations here directly inspired me to write White Space.

Matt's book list on blending science fiction, horror, and surrealism

Matt Durand Why did Matt love this book?

If you’re looking for a darker, more violent set of short stories, look no further. Another running theme in this collection I loved is the cleverness that goes into the plots, many of which deal with revenge and murder in unique ways. I liked how the things doing the killing were varied and utilized in unexpected styles. Whether that was a truck driver seeking revenge on a gang of bikers or carousel horses coming to life to terrorize teens, or a faun doling out justice to a group of hunters, these stories left me unsettled yet creatively satisfied. 

By Joe Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Full Throttle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this masterful collection of short fiction, Joe Hill dissects timeless human struggles in thirteen relentless tales of supernatural suspense, including "In The Tall Grass," one of two stories co-written with Stephen King, basis for the terrifying feature film from Netflix.

A little door that opens to a world of fairy tale wonders becomes the blood-drenched stomping ground for a gang of hunters in "Faun." A grief-stricken librarian climbs behind the wheel of an antique Bookmobile to deliver fresh reads to the dead in "Late Returns." In "By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain," two young friends stumble on the…


Book cover of There Will Come Soft Rains

Jackson Arthur Author Of Giving Up Your Ghosts

From my list on making you fall in love with horror.

Why am I passionate about this?

An intense passion for horror fiction, both adult and teen, began very early in my life, and has never dimmed or faltered through the years. There is a depth of humanity, light and dark, that exists in this form of writing, and horror writers are not afraid to get their hands dirty. When I create my stories, I remember the books that formed this passion, the stepping stones that brought me here. These stories have shown me how beautiful horror can truly be. And, with every tale that I weave, I try to live up to their example. 

Jackson's book list on making you fall in love with horror

Jackson Arthur Why did Jackson love this book?

Technically, this is a short story, but its importance to me is no less crucial. Ray Bradbury is the king of language and subtle surrealism and this story ticks all of those boxes. I remember being assigned this in High School and I wasn’t initially thrilled at being forced to read it. In terms of short stories, this one is near perfect. It says so much in very little words, and it affected me long after finishing it. Its beauty is in its simplicity. After reading this, I fell head over heels in love with the short story form, an obsession that I still have. A good short story can be like a classic song, powerful and eternal.

By Ray Bradbury,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked There Will Come Soft Rains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There Will Come Soft Rains


Book cover of The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World

Matt Durand Author Of White Space: Short Fictions

From my list on blending science fiction, horror, and surrealism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a lifelong lover of short fiction, novels, and comic books since I can remember. Ideas were always king, leading me to a career in the creative arts as a graphic designer with years of experience in the world of advertising. Much of the core of what I did for advertising—crafting brief tales to engage with an audience in a creative/unique way—translated over well to when I began writing my own short stories. And all of the book recommendations here directly inspired me to write White Space.

Matt's book list on blending science fiction, horror, and surrealism

Matt Durand Why did Matt love this book?

Post-apocalypse and gritty science fiction doesn’t get any better than this collection. Harlan Ellison writes in a rough and unflinching style that, to me, was like watching a classic 80s action/sci-fi movie. And the novella in this book, A Boy and His Dog, is another favorite of mine. It’s bloody and raw and felt ahead of its time for its prose and structure. After reading it, I saw this was published over fifty years ago, yet it still resonated as something fresh and new.

Book cover of Man V. Nature

Matt Durand Author Of White Space: Short Fictions

From my list on blending science fiction, horror, and surrealism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a lifelong lover of short fiction, novels, and comic books since I can remember. Ideas were always king, leading me to a career in the creative arts as a graphic designer with years of experience in the world of advertising. Much of the core of what I did for advertising—crafting brief tales to engage with an audience in a creative/unique way—translated over well to when I began writing my own short stories. And all of the book recommendations here directly inspired me to write White Space.

Matt's book list on blending science fiction, horror, and surrealism

Matt Durand Why did Matt love this book?

This collection of short stories left me a bit depressed but in a good way. Cook writes with pure beauty and poetry. The ideas of this collection were, at times, odd and uncomfortable, but they succeeded in making me consider the darker elements that exist within all of us as humans. These stories kept me engaged through their balance of settings as well. Some stories felt present, while others crafted bleak futures that were all too believable. A few of the stories had some racy elements too, so if you’re into that kind of thing, you won’t be disappointed.

By Diane Cook,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Man V. Nature as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*SHORTLISTED FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD 2015*

SHORTLISTED FOR THE LA TIMES BOOKS PRIZE 2015

A SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE NOTABLE BOOK OF 2014

A BOSTON GLOBE BEST FICTION OF 2014

ROXANE GAY'S TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2014

AN AMAZON BEST SHORT STORY COLLECTION OF 2014

AN iBOOK BEST OF 2014

Perfectly pitched and gorgeously penned, this astonishingly bold collection of stories explores the boundary between the wild and the civilized. Pitting human beings against the extremes of nature, Diane Cook surgically peels back the layers of civilization to lay bare our vulnerabilities and the ease with which our darker,…


Book cover of The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington

David Quantick Author Of All My Colors

From my list on expanding the mind through pleasure and strangeness.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most people, I read lots of different kinds of books, but I am often drawn to novels with unusual themes, structure, or all those things. As a comedy writer, I have always loved surreal writing – the Goon Shows on the radio, or the plays of NF Simpson – and this applies to my taste in literature as well. The unreal, the slightly detuned, anything that suggests this world is not entirely what it seems, or if it is what it seems, then it is an idiot.

David's book list on expanding the mind through pleasure and strangeness

David Quantick Why did David love this book?

Best known as a surrealist painter, Carrington is one of my favourite artists for her strange, half-dreamy figures and other-worldly paintings. Her written work is similarly disturbing: animals that tear their own faces off, monsters, and the dead populate these short but memorable stories. Surrealism can often be wearing in print, but Carrington is a writer who balances the bizarre with the unsettling perfectly.

By Leonora Carrington,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Complete Stories, a collection of Carrington’s published and unpublished short stories—many newly translated from their original French and Spanish—is a terrific introduction to her bizarre, dreamlike worlds.” —Carmen Maria Machado, NPR

Surrealist writer and painter Leonora Carrington (1917–2011) was a master of the macabre, of gorgeous tableaus, biting satire, roguish comedy, and brilliant, effortless flights of the imagination. Nowhere are these qualities more ingeniously brought together than in the works of short fiction she wrote throughout her life.

Published to coincide with the centennial of her birth, The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington collects for the first time all of…


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