‘They Were Here Before Us’: another twisted, gorgeous piece of art from Eric LaRocca

November 2, 2022

TITLE: They Were Here Before Us: A Novella in Pieces
AUTHOR: Eric LaRocca
GENRE: Horror
PAGES: 104pg
PUBLISHER: Bad Hand Books

From the author of the viral sensation Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke comes They Were Here Before Us, a novella written in pieces, designed to be consumed as a single, thematically cohesive work.

The only thing more brutal than nature is love.

“Eric LaRocca’s They Were Here Before Us is a disquieting piece of work. Readers will live with this one for a while.”
~ Laird Barron, author of Swift to Chase

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Perhaps “love” wasn’t exactly the right word.
In fact, perhaps “love” was far too benign of a word given the intensity of my feelings for her.

Yet again, Eric LaRocca has delivered a piece of horror art that is equal parts disgusting and gorgeous, all wrapped up in a surreal, shocking package. This “novella in pieces” reads similarly to a collection of short stories with an overarching theme, each of them featuring how toxic love gone wrong can be.

We start off with a beetle in love with a corpse, and I knew immediately that They Were Here Before Us was going to offer the same unpredictable, wild ride that Eric’s other works have—in the very best way, of course. I love Eric’s writing and am forever singing their praises, so it’s no surprise that I was totally enraptured with this new release and devoured it all in one quick go.

If you enjoy bizarre, beautiful, quietly (but, at times, extremely) violent horror unlike anything you’ve ever read before, you can’t go wrong with Eric LaRocca’s writing, and They Were Here Before Us is no exception. Much like many of my other favorite pieces of surreal horror media, this is the sort of story I plan to revisit time and time again, and I’m sure I’ll find something new to love every single time.

content warnings →

death, violence, gore, insects, interspecies love, bestiality, necrophilia, descriptions of a dead fetus, animal abuse, dementia, homophobia, homophobic slurs, self-harm

representation →

multiple queer characters


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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

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