February 16th, 2011

there!, Hello

Ghosts by Daylight

Demons by DaylightDemons by Daylight, Ramsey Campbell's second collection of short fiction, offers a wealth of weirdness. Its contents are sometimes haunted by the specter of H.P. Lovecraft (as well as other practicioners of classic horror fiction, including M.R. James, Arthur Machen, and Algernon Blackwood) but each tale is delivered in that Liverpudlian's singular voice. As well, these stories are not consigned to dark nights (stormy or otherwise); these eerie tales take place during the daylight hours.

While Campbell's many (many, many) subsequent collections reveal a continuing evolution in ability and interests (and present a wealth of delightful terror tales), Demons by Daylight holds a special place in my heart--if only because one story "The Franklyn Paragraphs" actually made me lose track of reality for thirty minutes or so. Oh, I knew it was fiction when I read it, but something happened and a part of me invited the con completely. Before I knew what was happening, the story's reality trumped honest-to-dog reality, and I found myself absolutely terrified about the world I lived in. It was 1990... I was young, I didn't know any better. Worse yet: I wish it would happen, again. Unfortunately, I'm older, wiser, more skeptical, less prone to wonder (however you want to phrase it). I remain hopeful, however.

That experience continues to haunt me. And the cover of the Carroll and Graf paperback edition (above) continues to creep me out. :)

Which brings me to a new book: Day Terrors edited by Kfir Luzzatto and Dru Pagliassotti is an anthology of daytime set horror stories from several talented writers such as Jason Sizemore and Lee Clarke Zumpke. My own humble contribution, "Down Where the Blue Bonnets Grow," is included.
Day Terrors

Do any of Day Terrors' contents succeed as well as "The Franklyn Paragraphs" or others from Campbell's collection? I look forward to finding out!