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The monsters lurk in everyone: monsters of greed, of guilt, of the pleasure found in pain, of the pain found when pleasure dies. Carefully disguised, the monsters can sit down beside you or take up residence within you at the slightest twist of fate. Will you try to stop them? Will you want to?

This collection of 19 stories from R. Thomas Riley deftly explores the monsters born of the human mind. “Attrition” offers a future prison system that frees only those who repent sincerely—but what can an inmate do if he finds that sincerity is not really the key? “Twin Thieves” and “Tautology” throw a devilish spin on relationships gone wrong, while “The Lesser Evil” twists the abuses of race and power into a gritty, noirish nightmare of the choices a man must make to protect a lesser man and a greater good. In “Touching God,” a young man’s past catches up to him when worlds bleed into each other and the past crosses into present, bringing back the abuse he once escaped and the brother who wasn’t so lucky.

Sacrifice, selfishness, and the worst of good intentions: all combine in The Monster Within Idea. From vampires and aliens to hit women and Wild Bill Hickock, Riley gives a subtle psychological turn to dark science fiction and horror. Let the monsters walk the paths of your mind. The idea is already within.

THE MONSTER WITHIN IDEA is available from Amazon.


“With the eponymous story [ R. Thomas Riley ] manages to create, in just four short pages, what Stephen King tried to hard (and ultimately failed) to do with The Colorado Kid, an utterly captivating yet completely unsolvable mystery that doesn’t resort to any cheap cop-outs. Concise, confident and bewildering as all holy f*%@, this is how to do it. A pure experience of paranoia and horror of the truest Lovecraftian sense, this bastard kicked my ass all the way to next Tuesday.”
— Anton Cancre (

“Creepy, visceral and evocative stories than make you grin while your skin puckers in goose bumps. They lead you to the edge of the precipice and then drop you over to a satisfying conclusion—be it a sudden crash at the end or the revelation of wings.”
 —Jennifer Brozek—editor of The Edge of Propinquity

“…You’ll find yourself tearing through this book as if your life depended on it…”—
K.D. Payne (

“The Monster Within Idea is a fun ride, dark, disturbing and well written. Riley started off strong and is only getting stronger. Highly recommended!”
—James A. Moore, author of Deeper and Cherry Hill

“A natural storyteller with a concise voice, R. Thomas Riley truly entertains in this collection. Unsettling at times, truly compelling, Riley’s moody & wild tales kick hard and crank the appetite for more.”
—Steven L. Shrewsbury, author of Hawg, Tormentor and Godforsaken

“R. Thomas Riley is a rising star. When you see those zombie and vampires digging their way up from the grave, and you see that hand break the surface of the earth, the backdrop a tombstone, you see one on his way up–that’s a guy named R. Thomas Riley.” — Robert W. Walker, Kindle Bestselling author of more than 40 novels, including the Instinct series and Edge series


R. Thomas Riley, an active member of ITW, is an internationally published author (print/digital media) living in the distant lands of North Dakota. His short story collection The Monster Within Idea (2009-2011) was published by Apex Publications.

If God Doesn’t Show co-written with John Grover will be published by Permuted Press in 2012. The Flesh of Fallen Angels co-written with Roy C. Booth will be published by Grand Mal Press in 2012. Diaphanous co-written with Roy C. Booth is available now. The Day Lufberry Won It All was adapted to short film by Frosty Moon Omnimedia in 2010. Riley is also the co-founder of KOTANORTH Films. To learn more, please visit his website.

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