A cold and relentless primordial presence awakens in Campbell's
newest and finest: a masterpiece of quiet, visionary horror. By
opening with a quote from critic David Aylward ("Writers [of
supernatural fiction], who used to strive for awe and achieve fear,
now strive for fear and achieve only disgust"), Campbell makes it
clear that he means this majestic story of a British family's
encounter with metaphysical terror as a response to horror's
reigning splatterpunk movement (see Splatterpunks, p. 1491). And so
no blood, no shocks, stain these compelling pages; the horror
accretes slowly, beginning with the opening that finds young Ben
Sterling taking refuge from the death of his parents in the books
of his great-grandfather, a student of mystic polar lore, and in
contemplating "the endless dark" of the night sky. Decades later,
Ben, now father of two and an author of children's books
illustrated by his loving wife, Ellen, returns with his family to
his ancient home in Stargrave, an isolated hamlet shadowed by the
forbidding expanse of Sterling Forest - where Ben's ancestor froze
to death. There, against a backdrop of subtly nuanced normalcy - as
the couple sets up house, deals with their publisher, and begins
new books - a great strangeness arises: uncanny cold plagues the
town; neighbors freeze to death; Ben is drawn into the forest,
where he sees weird symmetrical patterns among the trees and snow.
To Ellen's alarm, Ben grows cold, distant; and as blizzards strike
the town, in the forest an icy presence - the Being that has
dreamed the world into existence and whose awakening will destroy
it - rises from its slumber, freezing all in its path into fearful
symmetry and calling on Ben, now walking in his ancestor's
footsteps, to sacrifice his family in honor of the world's coming
demise. Truly glacial horror - slow, icy, monumental, inexorable -
that's directly in the tradition of Algernon Blackwood and Arthur
Machen and equal to their very best. (Kirkus Reviews)
Twice winner of the World Fantasy Award and four times winner of
the British Fantasy Award, the author of The Face that Must Die and
Incarnate has written a horror novel which involves the invoking of
an awesome power which brings about unnatural deaths and
|Country of origin:
||223 x 142mm (L x W)
Genre fiction >
Horror & ghost stories
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