Published by Omnium Gatherum, 2015
Carus is only fifteen but since their mum disappeared, looking after her little sister Mitch is her job. There’s nobody else. Not in their house and not outside, either. There’s something out there, scratching and scraping at the windows.
The barricades will hold.
They have to.
Shortlisted for This Is Horror Awards 2015
This novella is now out of print, but it is included in my short story collection, And the House Lights Dim.
“Carus & Mitch is punchy and scary and tense and genuinely moving. The central portrait of the book’s sibling relationship captures its mixture of friction and love spot on, with heartbreaking precision. Tim Major is an exceptional writer.” Adam Roberts
“Tim Major takes now-familiar tropes—an apocalypse, a resourceful teenage girl heroine—and recasts them in a bleak miniature portrait of a world ending with a whimper rather than a bang. More The Road than The Hunger Games, blending a John Wyndham-esque melancholy with a dose of existential despair, Carus & Mitch is a compelling, unconventional page-turner. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down until I reached the end.” Lynda Rucker
A sad, sweet little book that does post apocalyptic at a soft, intimate level.” Garrett Cook
”Like life and college, the novella Carus & Mitch will leave you with more questions than answers. But the question you’ll replay over and over in your mind, the question that will keep you up at night will be, “Oh Carus, what have you done?” Tim Major tells Carus & Mitch through Carus, and as with all 15-year-olds, she’s a somewhat unreliable narrator. Grim, bleak storytelling, paired with simmering tension strikes the same haunting chord as Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, and the overall tone is reminiscent of Room by Emma Donoghue and Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.”” Kristin Luna, Urban Fantasy Magazine
“Carus & Mitch has similarities to many previous horror classics: Matheson’s I Am Legend; The Sundial by Shirley Jackson; Cortozar’s short story ‘House Taken Over’. But Tim Major has succeeded in created something wholly original from his influences, an intimate, original, and character-driven take on the post-apocalyptic genre. Looked at in one light, Carus & Mitch is a plot-driven page-turner; in another it is a compelling puzzle to be pondered over. As such, it’s a book which will no doubt find a loyal readership fascinated by its intricacies.” James Everington, This Is Horror
““Carus & Mitch” is a quick but totally intoxicating read. It delivers far more excitement and ambiance than you would expect from a story of that length and this serves as a best way to show the extent of Major’s writing potential. I’m already looking forward for his future work but until then – a “Carus & Mitch” re-read anyone?” Upcoming4Me
“I recommend this novella to lovers of ambiguous and sophisticated dark fiction. I call it sophisticated because this is more than just a straightforward story, it needs the reader’s input to be complete. This reader loved it!” Horror After Dark
“Tim Major’s novella is solid and compact and all that it lets hanging up in the air is an important part of its composition. Even my assuming that “Carus and Mitch” is a post-apocalyptic story is up to debate in this light. It might be, but very well it might entirely something else. Every little question one could come up with for this tale is up for personal interpretation. It is part of the magic of this wonderful novella and I am certain part of the profit that could be gained from re-reading it.” Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews
“I don’t believe any reader will be able to fill every missing piece of the puzzle that is Carus & Mitch, but I think they’ll have fun trying.” Horror Novel Reviews
- ‘Terrifying children in fiction’ on Wag the Fox
- ‘The story behind Carus & Mitch’ on Upcoming4Me
- ‘Why we write’ on Liz Loves Books
- Interview at This Is Horror
- Interview at Speculative Fiction Showcase
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