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Dark Warm Heart

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  125 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Original Fiction, Short Story, Horror ||

"Dark Warm Heart" by Rich Larson is a horror story about a woman whose husband returns from the frozen Canadian North Territories, obsessed with texts he discovered there.

Edited by Ellen Datlow

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Kindle Edition, 28 pages
Published April 12th 2017 by Tor Books
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Apr 22, 2017 rated it liked it
“Good night,” he said.

It wasn’t.

kind of like the thing meets The Shining meets one of those typical romance stories in which a couple’s love is tested when one of them (view spoiler)

noel returns from his work in the canadian wilderness frostbitten, exhausted, and distant, so consumed with his linguistic anthropology project: playing back the recordings of native throat-singers and transcribing the inuktitut texts and interviews filled with storie
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Newlywed Noel returns from a trip to the Canadian North Territories bringing texts of indigenous stories and throat-singing( low guttural wails) which he plans to transcribe. He seems obsessed and even possessed. Wife Kristine feels a strange, ice-like aura surrounding her. What's up with the bite mark on her shoulder? Good horror short story by Rich Larson.
Zuky the BookBum
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this one from the get-go because it involved lots of speech and had a real life relationship in it. I feel like a lot of Tor.com books are very arty and poetic, which is lovely, but doesn’t often feel realistic, so this was a nice change. Of course, this isn’t all realistic, it’s a sci-fi horror novella after all, but it certainly felt more plausible.

I liked how this one was cloaked in mystery right from the beginning, with Kristine’s strange bite on her shoulder and the storm Noel encou
Sarah Marie
Dark Warm Heart by Rich Larson

2 stars

This is a story that I'm not sure how to describe. It's quite unsettling. A wife's husband comes back home after surviving frostbite and he becomes obsessed with transcripts that could lead him to understanding something about himself. It's a very a strange story and I wish that there had been more expansion upon the overall explanations. I can't really digest my thoughts on this without talking about the ending, so don't click the spoiler tag unless you have

Zakończenie wybiło mnie z historii. Zamiast bać się czy czuć niepokój, zastanawiałam się, czemu bohaterowie nie zachowają się racjonalnie.
Wendi Lee
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
First off, I had no idea there were short stories on Tor.com. That's awesome!

This horror story is about a recently married couple, Kristine and Noel. Noel has just come back from a mysterious research expedition and ... well, let's just say that's he's not well. Not well at all.

I really liked this story, but it ended a bit abruptly. I wanted more, a lot more.
This fantastic story can be found here, to read for free:


My ONLY caveat is that I don't know what happened next....! 😱😱😱
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't usually gravitate toward short stories. Not that I think they are all bad. It's more of a personal thing. When I read a story I want to live in it for a while. I have to admit that it is the cover that attracted me to this little story. That cover is fantastic!

That being said, I thought this was excellent. There was a palpable sense of dread through out. I wish this were a full length novel because I would devour every single page.
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Kristine, girl, come on! This is not going to work out.
Maggie Gordon
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dark Warm Heart is an extremely effective horror short, set up in the windy cold landscape of the North West Territories. It has the perfect amount of dread that builds and builds, leaving readers with a moment of agony at the end. (Shudders) Plus, it's set in Canada and deals with Indigenous folklore!
Apr 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: online
If you like horror, you can probably nudge my rating up a notch. This is the type of unspattery horror I can read, and I love Rich Larson's work in general. I enjoyed the imagery in this piece, but I prefer firmer ground than horror typically provides.
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I just wanted a bit more from this one - the story was really well written, and the tension ratchets in a most satisfying way. But the ending is abrupt and feels abrupt.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Gave it a 3.5 only because it wasn't expanded to a satisfying degree; too short. There's the building unsettling dread of Kristine's marriage with her husband Noel due to the eerie transformation undergoing her husband. You can feel sorry for Kristine (view spoiler).
Aug 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Dark Warm Heart is a quite interesting horror story, that leverages some ancient first nations legends. It is the story of a woman whose husband, a linguist that went to the icy North to study a vanishing culture and language, almost dies in a snow storm. He returns from the frozen Canadian North Territories changed and obsessed with texts he discovered there.
It's a great and entertaining story, I just wish the ending was less abrupt and sudden. I am looking forward reading more by this author.
Che Adventure
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Have Rich Larson on my radar. Liked the mythology behind it and it had some visual moments, but I wanted more from the story and the ending was very abrupt. video review of Dark Warm Heart found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWj7J...
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
SO CREEPY. The ending scene gives me shivers.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks-online, sff, thing
Michelle Elizabeth
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Good, but not quite good enough. It needed a bit more... something. Read it for free on Tor's website.
Very abrupt ending that I didn't quite understand. Also, (view spoiler).
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Dark Warm Heart" by Rich Larson [4/5]

This is a horror story I really like.
The premise is a woman's husband is returning from frozen Canadian North Territories and is obsessed with texts. I think it is kind of obvious everything would go downhill because he is acting more than weird.

Everyone who has ever read Lovecraft knows obscure texts are the first step to getting insane or something much worse (no, this story is not really lovecraftian but always I see a horror story in which texts play a
MC Hall
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, aty-2018
ATY - 2018 - 9. A book with a body part in the title (heart, bones, teeth, skin, blood, etc)
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. A great short story, but I wish it wasn't so... short. Call me when this gets fleshed out into a full-length novel, and I'll come running.
rated it liked it
Dec 14, 2017
Erin Kelly
rated it really liked it
Jun 12, 2017
Apr 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Actual Rating: 3.5
Camilla Bruce
rated it liked it
Dec 25, 2017
Anton Hammarstedt
rated it really liked it
Aug 29, 2017
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Rich Larson was born in Galmi, Niger, has studied in Rhode Island and worked in the south of Spain, and now lives in Ottawa, Canada. Since he began writing in 2011, he’s sold over a hundred stories, the majority of them speculative fiction published in magazines like Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Lightspeed, and Tor.com.

His work appears in numerous Year’s Best anthologies and has been
More about Rich Larson