A Short Stay in Hell

A SHORT STAY IN HELL, by Steven L. Peck

A Short Stay in Hell

An ordinary family man, geologist, and Mormon, Soren Johansson has always believed he’ll be reunited with his loved ones in an eternal hereafter. Then, he dies. Soren wakes to find himself cast by a God he has never heard of into a Hell whose dimensions he can barely grasp: a vast library he can only escape from by finding the book that contains the story of his life.

In this haunting existential novella, author, philosopher, and ecologist Steven L. Peck explores a subversive vision of eternity, taking the reader on a journey through the afterlife of a world where everything everyone believed in turns out to be wrong.

“Profound and disturbing, A Short Stay in Hell is a perfect blend of science fiction, theology, and horror. A terrifying meditation on faith, human nature, and the relentless scope of eternity. It will haunt you, fittingly, for a very, very long time.” Dan Wells, author of I Am Not a Serial Killer

“An irresistible invention. Peck has somehow squeezed all of human experience, not to mention near-infinite expanses of space and time, into one miraculously slim novella. You won’t be able to stop thinking about this book.” – Ken Jennings, author of Brainiac and Maphead

“This eschatological novella gives an unblinking look at what is often the unspoken worst part of the traditional idea of damnation: its duration. Highly recommended.” – Nathan Shumate, author of Arcane

Cover design: Matt Page / Audiobook narration: Sergei Burbank

(Goodreads book page)



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Steven L. PeckSteven L. Peck is an evolutionary ecologist and professor of the philosophy and history of science. He is the author of a previous novel, The Scholar of Moab (Torrey House Press, 2011), and a forthcoming young adult novel, Spear from the Wealdend’s Tree (Cedar Fort Press). His poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Dialogue, Bellowing Ark, Irreantum, and Red Rock Review. In 2011 he was nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Rhysling Award, and his writing has been recognized through honors and prizes including the Mayhew Short Fiction Contest and the Eugene England Memorial Essay Contest. His scientific work has appeared in American Naturalist, Newsweek, Evolution, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Biological Theory, Agriculture and Human Values, and Biology & Philosophy, and he co-edited a volume on environmental stewardship.

(Goodreads author page)


  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-9837484-4-1 / Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9837484-2-7 / eBook ISBN: 978-0-9837484-3-4
  • Hardcover price: US$21.95 / Paperback price: US $11.95 / eBook price: US$2.99 / audiobook price: $6.95
  • 108 pages
  • Category: Fiction
  • Formats: 6×9 hardcover, 6×9 trade paperback; Kindle, EPub, PDF; audiobook
  • Wholesaling and Distribution: Lightning Source (for orders through its distribution partners, including Ingram), Smashwords (distributor for eBook sales), ACX Audiobook Exchange (exclusive distributor for audiobook sales)