SALT WATER TEARS by Brian A. Hopkins
A collection of stories by
Bram Stoker Award Winning Author

Brian A. Hopkins


Cover Art by A.B. Word.
Introduction by Gary A. Braunbeck.


"The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient.  To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith.  Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches.  Patience and faith.  One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach -- waiting for a gift from the sea."
-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh


"...his stories carry things often forgotten or left behind in both horror and science fiction -- poetry, emotion, and heart ... If you haven't met Brian A. Hopkins, this could be the introduction you need."

-- from a review by William D. Gagliani

"...another excellent collection of Brian's work ... I found it impossible to put this book down ... Fabulous!"

-- Lesley Mazey, The Eternal Night

"Over the course of the last year or so we've sold more trade paperbacks by Brian Hopkins than we have any other writer ... [Brian] seems to be the kind of writer that appeals to our patrons.  I like to think that that kind of writer is literate, emphatic, unusual and lyrical ... Better check this Hopkins guy out."

-- Mark Ziesing, Bookseller and Publisher

"Hopkins displays a fascination with damaged protagonists ... that is almost as strong as the fascination with the ocean and cetaceans ... that is the titular focus of this book.  From the distant play of orcas in 'North' to the rotting dolphin corpses center stage in 'Wrinkles at Twilight,' this theme of the pelagic mysteries weaves a fascinating metaphor for the decidedly land-based life led by most of Hopkins' readership ... These are not emotionally satisfying, morally secure stories -- they are challenging, sometimes difficult, and always at least a bit slantwise of the reader's expectation and experience."

-- Jay Lake, from a review in Tangent

"The sea is the birthplace of all life.  It has inspired some of the greatest minds in literature: Homer, Melville, Conrad, Hemingway ... and Brian A. Hopkins ... Hopkins dives deep into the mysteries of inner space and returns with a chest full of literary gems.  Submerge yourself in his word.  You may never wish to come ashore again."

-- Garrett Peck, from a review in Cemetery Dance

"This collection is arguably Brianís most mature and thoughtful one yet.  His writing -- always excellent -- is here among the most painstakingly exact heís ever produced.  He never gives into the temptation to use traditional genre tomes and, in fact, knows how to use your expectations of those tomes against you... "

-- Gary A. Braunbeck, from the Introduction

"Author, Engineer, Martial Artist, and Editor Extraordinaire -- the phrase 'Jack of All Trades, Master of None' need not apply here.  With Salt Water Tears, Brian A. Hopkins proves he is Master of All He Surveys, and one of the most important authors of our generation."

-- Steve Beai, Author of Widow's Walk

"Brian Hopkins writes of the ocean as if he were a part of it.  His empathy with whales -- in particular -- is phenomenal, and the subtle blend of intense research and intuitive talent is -- at times -- unnerving.  Unforgettable fiction."

-- David Niall Wilson, Author of This is My Blood
"Brian Hopkins should take five steps forward and join the masters.  His writing is eloquent, poignant, touching and delirious.  Hopkins manages to both repulse and enchant within a single story, and writes with a quiet melancholy that is reminiscent of Bradbury at his best."
-- James A. Moore, Author of Under the Overtree

"Brian A. Hopkins has a sensitivity for shadows.  But make no mistake about it.  This 'sensitive' man will keep you up well past the witching hour.  He is a knight from the nightmare realms, the shaman of shrieks, the director of darkness ... well, you get the idea.  But he's also a very down to earth guy, almost folksy in some of his approaches.  Super Americana.  He's from Oklahoma and sometimes reminds me of Will Rogers.  He never met a scream he didn't like."

-- Charlee Jacob, Author of Dread in the Beast

"Brian Hopkins has a rare combination of clear vision, perfect instinct, and mastery of his craft.  If you like to laugh and cry and learn, he's your man."

-- Nancy Etchemendy, Bram Stoker Award Winning Author of The Power of Un

"When I examine my obsession with Fitzgerald and Tolstoy, for Dickens and Dostoevsky, I realize that what keeps me coming back to Gatsby and Anna and the rest is the music I hear when I am with them.  That, and my absolute conviction that there is nothing there that I would have had them do differently.  So it is with BAH's work.  He doesn't simply write; he composes.  Long after the reading is done, the melody lingers on."

-- Janet Berliner, Bram Stoker Award Winning Author of Rite of the Dragon

Brian says, "There's something about the sea that always invigorates and rejuvenates me, something about the sound of the surf and the smell of the brine that calls to my soul.  In Don Henley's 'Goodbye to a River,' he sings --

Lakes and levees, dams and locks
They put that river in a box
It was running wild
And men must have control
We live our lives in starts and fits
We lose our wonder bit by bit
We condescend and in the end
We lose our very souls

-- and it seems to me that at least part of this song is about the soulessness of things which man manipulates, those elements he reshapes and 'denaturalizes' to suit his own selfish needs.  If rivers have been robbed of their souls because we've dammed them and reshaped them and removed their wild and natural tendencies, then surely the same could not be said of the sea.  There's little we can do to shape or control the sea (save perhaps destroy it by pollution).  It exists outside our direct influence, timeless and powerful, mysterious and unforgiving and sublime.  Like the river, man himself loses his soul through condescension and the sacrifice of the wild and natural side of his being. We sit in front of our televisions and our computers and we forget what it is to feel the wind in our face, to taste the salt-breeze, to wonder at the majesty of dolphins.  The sea returns my soul to me.  Reminds me who I was meant to be."


Available in trade paperback (ISBN 1-888993-21-9, $12.95) from Dark Regions Press, POB 1558, Brentwood, CA 94513, or from

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Copyright © 2011 Brian A. Hopkins, 2011-07-30 10:11,