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Rohit Sawant's The Endless Walk

Rohit Sawant’s debut short story collection, The Endless Walk, is now available for Kindle on Amazon!






It will release alongside the paperback version on March 30th.


Below, you'll find the introduction I wrote for the collection below. Nothing I can say better encapsulates my excitement for the release of this collection.


Thank you for your support, and, we hope, partaking in our (mine and Rohit’s) excitement for this long-awaited publication!


Editor’s Introduction:


The first of Rohit Sawant’s fiction I ever read was “Carrion Tales,” the penultimate story of this collection. It was submitted to me for possible inclusion in Hymns of Abomination: Secret Songs of Leeds, a tribute anthology to the work of Matthew M. Bartlett (hence the dedication you’ll find at the end of the story as it appears here). At the time, I decided the story wouldn’t fit comfortably alongside the more gruesome and horror-oriented pieces already selected for Hymns. There was something strange about it, the way it opened halfway through a story begun elsewhere, its narrator covered with blood, nursing the aftermath of an improvised surgery, the way the story took its time connecting the reader with the initial scene, the way some elements—a dreamlike struggle between a goat and a man—drift in and out of focus as if riding on air. And there were the idiosyncrasies of Sawant’s style, a certain playfulness that cleared space for his characters to develop convincing lives of their own. After reading “Carrion Tales” and noting how elements of the story refused to fade quickly, I asked Sawant he wouldn’t mind sending more. The rest of this book was his response.  


Sawant’s medium is water and wind. There is little rigidity here. The reader will find no locked notions of theme, no strict adherence to singular notions of how a horror story or weird tale should play out in terms of atmosphere. But neither does Sawant establish an ironic distance from the conventions of genre fiction in the (often misguided) hope of obtaining some elevated appeal to writing one can’t help but characterize as literary. The reader will find a vampire tale, succubi, and at least one creature of Lovecraftian lineage. There is even a Sherlock Holmes story (“The Mysterious Death of the Masked Reveler”). In short, Sawant does an excellent job of touching traditional material with a tasteful levity that is nevertheless thoughtful and often tinged with grayness, as his characters tend to resist their circumstances without quite daring to hope for deliverance. There is a true love of horror here, an enthusiasm that suggests the stories of Stephen King, and with more than the hint of weirdness that often marks King’s best work.  


Many of these stories stuck with me from the first reading. In the first half, these include “Player Two,” the tale of a game of dice with weirdly cosmic resonance from which this collection takes its title; “Brother Mine,” the engrossing story of a strange phenomenon that takes as its axis a hole that opens up in the most unlikely of places. . . a story that, to my mind, demonstrates Sawant’s unique strengths in full swing; “I Dream of Desirée,” so gorgeously somnolent and otherworldly; and at last, “Delivery Spéciale,” Sawant’s weird tale of the gig economy that tipped the scales for me as an editor. It was here that I was overcome with the conviction that horror and weird fiction readers needed this collection, even though Silent Motorist Media has only published anthologies and chapbooks previously. I remain convinced that if this is the only collection of fiction SMM produces, it will have facilitated a contribution to the genre I am proud to have had a hand in. 


I first read “Carrion Tales” in 2021. This collection has already been forced to wait longer than it deserves, and describing the rest of the stories in these pages can only detract from the experience of reading them yourself. It only remains to urge the reader to expect variety—Sawant’s writing rises to the unique challenge of each story, and what results is a satisfying range of excursions into dark fiction. I should also thank the author for his understanding and patience with me throughout this prolonged journey to publication. But the wait has been worth it, as you are soon to discover for yourself. Indeed, now that you have found your way here, there is nothing but time. This is, after all, The Endless Walk. 


Justin A. Burnett


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