From Reddit subreddit to Amazon bestseller.
August 21, 2012 2:20 PM   Subscribe

"Penpal" - from Reddit subreddit to Amazon bestseller. When Dathan Auerbach, aka 1000vultures, posted the first in a series of beautifully told tales making sense of his unsettling childhood memories on the Reddit subreddit NoSleep ["a place where people post horror stories; there, 'everything is true, even if it isn’t'"], he could have had no idea that by May of this year he would have a Kickstarter project completed and be on the Amazon bestseller lists with Penpal and a range of beautifully produced artwork.

You can read the original stories here:
Part 1 – Footsteps
Part 2 – Balloons
Part 3 – Boxes
Part 4 – Maps
Part 5 – Screens
Part 6 – Friends

For those who prefer their chills by audio, The NoSleep podcast has Part I and Part II read by fellow redditor Sammy Raynor (sammysimplicity).
posted by humph (20 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite

 
But who would win if penpal went up against a Roman legion?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 2:27 PM on August 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:

House of Leaves
The Killing Joke
That horse mask
A self test for THC (marijuana)
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:32 PM on August 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wow.

Still reading these, but the first one has some really nice touches that add a sense of reality unusual in horror stories.

(Also, I am tangentially reminded of a phenomenon in the UFO community, whereby every story that has any elements of the typical alien abduction story is co-opted. Any differences are just part of developing a mental cover story to protect from the horror of being abducted.) Part I is a total cover story, until one gets to The Note.
posted by muddgirl at 2:33 PM on August 21, 2012


But who would win if penpal went up against a Roman legion?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl

The legion. They have gold and moxy smock frocks that glean in the dew.
posted by clavdivs at 2:39 PM on August 21, 2012


I remember reading this as it was being written (which, admittedly, adds another level of suspense). With a few exceptions, I found it quite enthralling, terrifying, and heartbreaking. Glad to see it's getting broader exposure -- the writer is talented.

There's as much crap in r/nosleep as one would expect, but there are a few compelling gems there too. IMO, this is clearly one of the latter.
posted by treepour at 2:50 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hrm.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:55 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


humph: "beautifully told tales making sense of his unsettling childhood memories"

This made it sound like the horror version of the "WHAT COLOR IS THE COUGAR" guy. It's not quite that, but it's pretty great anyway.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:58 PM on August 21, 2012


Well, I just finished #2 and now I'm completely creeped out!
posted by lunasol at 3:07 PM on August 21, 2012


This is great! I love these purportedly true stories. They creep me out more than straight up horror. Glad Dathan is seeing some success from them and I hope he writes more.
posted by snowleopard at 3:22 PM on August 21, 2012


I read these as they came out too, but I somehow missed the first couple stories. Whoa. Better writing than I had even realized.
posted by chatongriffes at 3:41 PM on August 21, 2012


So creepy! I started reading the first story and couldn't stop till I'd finished all six. I am so glad I don't have a crawlspace below my house because now I'm not sure I'd be able to go to sleep tonight if I did.
posted by jessypie at 3:46 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Finished the reddit story, and now I'm wondering if I should buy the book. On one hand, it's obvious that this wasn't written cohesively (that previous parts don't have future parts in mind), so it would be interesting to see the tiny gaps filled up.

On the other hand, I doubt I'm going to sleep soundly tonight as it is.
posted by muddgirl at 4:26 PM on August 21, 2012


For what it's worth, I thought the last ones weren't as great, since he chose to go more explicit and less indirectly creepy, but it's still very good. And I'll be be buying the book, if nothing else to support independent writers.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:12 PM on August 21, 2012


/r/nosleep is a solid argument for the continued existence of Reddit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:37 PM on August 21, 2012


Joakim Ziegler: "humph: "beautifully told tales making sense of his unsettling childhood memories"

This made it sound like the horror version of the "WHAT COLOR IS THE COUGAR" guy. It's not quite that, but it's pretty great anyway.
"

Black. The answer is black, and it leaped out of that damned hole in the wall in the back of the grocery store (where the bathroom was) and it chased after me, and I awoke screaming bloody murder, and then I felt my cat's fur rub against my leg, and then I *KNEW* IT WAS REAL! And my mom was at the foot of the stairs and I jumped as soon as I saw her, but she says she thinks I was in midflight by the time she turned the corner and was scared as to what would have happened if she hadn't been there.

To this day, I have always had an affinity for black panthers (or cougars, or whatever wild cat it may be).

-----

Also - yeah, I'm glad this person got something done, I too recall reading it (though I think It was already on part 3 by the time I saw it) and was reading it before bed and got spooked (though I could, actually, sleep). Kudos to the internets for letting one anonymous person's dream come true... Now make use of that money wisely, kid.
posted by symbioid at 9:00 PM on August 21, 2012


THE ANSWER IS TAWNY.
posted by Dr-Baa at 5:33 AM on August 22, 2012


I enjoyed this -- the first few more than the last, but overall a good read. I did find it a little hard to accept the level of agency being granted to 5- and 6-year-olds... but that's a minor quibble.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:15 AM on August 22, 2012


I never saw this on /r/nosleep, I only drop by there once in a while. It is usually years old creepypasta and unsettling gifs. Figured I would get it in book form. It is pretty good but something about t bugs me. Maybe it is me but it reads like very good Internet comments. The style of writing the best commenters employ. I guess it is no surprise since that is what it is. Think every comment by sonascope mashed together into an ebook (think about it sonascope, you could have the next best seller)
posted by Ad hominem at 8:26 AM on August 22, 2012


(think about it sonascope, you could have the next best seller)

Still not sure I'm going to buy this book, but I would buy a sonascope book in a heartbeat.
posted by mstokes650 at 5:50 PM on August 22, 2012


sleeping with the lights on tonight.
posted by cusack01 at 9:26 PM on August 22, 2012


« Older Guardian/Greenwald: US drones are coming back afte...  |  How To Deal With An “Unruly Pa... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments