“One of the best horror writers we have is back.”
Throughout Ligotti’s ‘career’ as a horror writer, many of his stories have evolved from physical or emotional crises. And so it was with the surgical trauma that led to the stories in The Spectral Link, an event that is marginally mentioned in the first of these stories, ‘Metaphysica Morum’. In the second story, ‘The Small People’, Ligotti returns, although not precisely in the usual fashion, to his fixation with uncanny representations of the so-called human being. Having nearly ceased to exist as he lay on the surgeon s table, the imposing strangeness of the nature and vicissitudes of this life form once again arose in his imagination. So what project and publications are forthcoming from Thomas Ligotti? As ever, not even he knows.
Why we’re excited about this book: It’s been over ten years since there’s been any new stories from Thomas Ligotti, the reclusive master of absurdest horror. The inspiration for the tales in The Spectral Link came when Ligotti suffered a period of hospitalisation following a collapse and near death experience. That experience broke his decade long writer’s block and resulted in the two stories here.
That in itself is reason enough to be excited: one of the best horror writers we have is back. Drawing such an optimistic conclusion from Ligotti’s survival is probably anathema to the pessimistic, nihilistic view of life evident in his stories, but sod it, let’s be excited anyway.
For bonus excitement, also being released on the same day is Born To Fear, a book of interviews with Ligotti, edited by Matt Cardin. Let’s party.
This book will appeal to: Those readers who find Poe and Lovecraft too relentlessly upbeat for their tastes.
“Collecting together a diverse selection of ‘Lovecraftesque’ stories.”
Twenty-eight works in the vein of the master, H. P. Lovecraft, by some of his greatest disciples. A volume of treasures from modern masters such as Neil Gaiman (American Gods) and S. T. Joshi (Black Wings of Cthulhu), to famed storytellers including Jorge Luis Borges (The Aleph), Edmond Hamilton (The Star Kings), and Pulitzer Prize nominee Manley Wade Wellman (Rebel Boast).
Why we’re excited about this book: Love him or think he was a bit of a racist who was crap at dialogue, there’s no disputing Lovecraft’s influence over the horror genre. Of course there’s plenty of anthologies containing stories supposedly influenced by Lovecraft, which too often just means stories from writers who like tentacles and are crap at dialogue, too. But Acolytes Of Cthulhu is different, collecting together a diverse selection of ‘Lovecraftesque’ stories by writers as varied as Neil Gaiman and Borges. Of course, a writer like Borges may very well never have read Lovecraft, never mind been consciously writing in imitation of him, but one of the great strengths of this anthology is the way it makes you see how writers never normally associated with horror actually fit quite nicely alongside more obvious names like Joseph Payne Brennan and S.T. Joshi.
Gaiman’s contribution, a mashup of Lovecraft and Peter Cook & Dudley Moore (honest) is every bit as brilliant as that description sounds.
This book will appeal to: People who don’t see the face of Jesus in their toast, but that of our overlord Cthulhu/Pete & Dud fans.