Monday, December 14, 2015

AN ECSTASY OF FEAR AND OTHERS, Centipede Press 2017

I confess that I love what I suppose wou'd be describ'd as "traditional Lovecraftian horror", stories that paint imagery such as we have in ye illustration beside this text: the full moon, the abandoned necropolis with its overgrown grass and twisted tress, the hoary antient sarcophagus nestled in its lonesome mausoleum, & ye solitary haunter of ye dark. Just as there are motifs and moods and such that I love to paint in my stories, there are tales and settings by H. P. Lovecraft that continually draw me to them as I seek his texts for inspiration, from which I sup as if the story was some unholy fount. One setting that I continue to visit in my own work is Kingsport, the city in mist. I have a vague fancy to eventually write some handful more tales set there and then collect all of my Kingsport stories in a single book, as I collected my tales of Nyarlathotep in The Strange Dark One. A wee few months ago I finalized ye Contents for my forthcoming second omnibus to be publish'd by Centipede Press. Almoft all of ye stories are reprints; and one story, "Smooth Artifact of Stone", is a revision and expansion of a tale that was publish'd in a small press anthology. Here is ye Contents for that forthcoming book from Centipede Press--An Ecstasy of Fear and Others:
"Underneath an Arkham Moon" (in collaboration with Jessica Amanda Salmonson)
"The Black Winged Ones (3,670 words)
"Gathered Dust" (12,200 words)
"To Dance Among Your Puppets" (1,100 words)
"An Ecstasy of Fear" (11,600 words)
"Let Us Wash This Thing" (2,260 words)
"Artifice" (200 words)
"Letters from an Old Gent" (2,460 words)
"The Imps of Innsmouth" (2,390 words)
"Smooth Artifact of Stone" (3,075 words)
"Some Unknown Gulf of Night" (40,080 words)
"An Identity in Dream" (580 words)
"Hempen Rope" (500 words)
"Chamber of Dreams" (525 words)
"Unhallowed Places" (9,500 words)
"House of Legend" (735 words)
"A Shadow of Your Own Design" (2,625 words)
"Cesare" (307 words)
"To See Beyond" (9,000 words)
"A Quest of Dream" (5,200 words)
"The Horror on Tempest Hill" (11,660 words)
"Pickman's Lazarus" (4,660 words)

"The Horror on Tempest Hill" has been publish'd under ye title of "A Presence of the Past". I decided I wanted a title that sounded more like a book publish'd by Arkham House. It is, of course, my "Sesqua Valley version" of Lovecraft's "The Lurking Fear", and I am very fond of the thing, although S. T. (my book's editor) isn't crazy about it. I had such fun writing it, but the story never made much of an impact, I guess, for no one has ever mention'd it to me and said what they think of it. 

I confess that I smiled wickedly to myself when ye idea for the new story hatched within my brain. "My ghod, girlfriend, you're not seriously going to write another story inspir'd by 'Pickman's Model'!" But of course I had to; because when one gets such an idea planted into one's imagination, it gnaws at you until ye have exorcised it by writing it out in fiction form. My other attempts to write something in which Lovecraft's Pickman character appears as a character have been so bloody awful that it shock'd me to find myself doing it yet again. My story is in two parts, the first of which is entitl'd "The Past" and concerns a fellow known as "Mr. Richard Peters" who has a secret art studio in Boston's North End. He is obsess'd with an idea he has for a macabre religious work inspir'd by Christ's raising up of a dead bloke. And he has created a life-size model on which to base his Art. Ye 2nd portion of ye tale in entitl'd "The Narrative of Grevel Zhukovsky," and is set in modern time. I really enjoy'd writing this story--especially as it had been quite a while since I had completed a new work, and it felt delicious, once ye final revision was completed and printed, to hold that new manuscript in my paw.

There is nothing more beautiful than a Centipede Press book, and I think my new book will be especially gorgeous because it will include some illustrations by that magnificent artist, David Ho! Below are some samples of his Art.




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