FOUR DREAMERS. FOUR NIGHTMARES. FOUR TALES OF DEATH, DARKNESS, DESTRUCTION, AND DESPAIR
June 13th 2013 was a very special date in the Lovecraft calendar: it marked the launch
of Dreaming In Darkness, a collection of four Lovecraft-inspired novellas, at the
World Horror Convention in New Orleans. The hardback will go on general release in
July, and will also be available as an eBook on all major platforms.
Project creator John Prescott said; “I wanted to do a novella collection for a while
with some other writers. I saw a piece of art a year or so ago and just fell in love
with it. I knew there was a story buried there somewhere. I forgot about the piece
for a while, and when I saw the piece of artwork that graces our cover the ideas
meshed and fell into place pretty quick. I have worked and shared stories in anthologies
with the three other authors that are in this collection. I knew they had the same
strong interest in Lovecraft as mine, so it wasn’t a hard decision to ask them if
they were interested in the project. Thank goodness they were and that they all agreed
to it. After reading all the novellas in our collection I feel that this book can
and should sit comfortably in any horror fan’s special Lovecraft section on their
Each writer – two Americans and two from the UK - brought a unique spin on the themes
of cosmic horror, madness and despair, so prevalent in Lovecraft’s fiction.
THE ORDER, by Aaron J French:
“…a Next Age will follow, in which everything will be undone and made whole again.”
A bizarre murder in a New York museum takes retired detective Carl Sanford on a grim
journey into the sinister world of the Order of Oriphiel…but he is not alone on his
quest. An archangel, who speaks to him only in dreams, accompanies him for its own
“Since discovering H.P. Lovecraft back in high school, I’ve been a fan, and I’ve
read just about everything Old Gramps has written,” says French. “His particular
mode of horror and suspense is one I admire, and one I try to emulate in my own fiction.
Bridging the gap between magical and mundane, bleeding one into the other, is something
Lovecraft excelled at, and in my opinion it’s the most effective way to create horror,
suspense, and awe. Since discovering Lovecraft way back when, my interests have broadened
to include esotericism, consciousness studies, radical forms of theology, and the
modern-day craze of intellectual thrillers such as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
‘The Order’ is my attempt to introduce Lovecraftian themes (as well as my other various
interests) into such a literary genre, in hopes they will produce a harmonizing effect.”
SHADRACH BESIEGED, by Adrian Chamberlin:
“…King or Parliament. Cross or Prophet. What happened to you, Shadrach? What unholy
wars have you fought?”
An unholy icon stolen from its guardians during the First Crusade reveals its devastating
true nature in the English Civil War, while a mysterious warrior, reborn in blood
and fire, invokes demonic powers in an attempt to destroy its evil…
“My passion is history, and I have a particular fascination with the English Civil
War,” says Chamberlin. “As the novella progressed I realised this would just be the
beginning of Shadrach’s adventures. Further instalments will take him to other theatres
of war in the seventeenth century, to do battle with more Lovecraftian entities as
well as all-too-human enemies. ‘Shadrach Besieged’ takes place in the fictional coastal
village of Fairlight, which appears in many of my short stories and is the setting
for my next novel.”
THE SERPENT’S EGG, by Jonathan Green:
“When oblivion comes, it is forever, as endless as the slumber of those beings that
lie buried beneath the roots of the world, dreaming in darkness.”
A writer’s research into the legend of the Lambton Worm takes a horrifying twist
when he uncovers the true origin of the story: a legend that stirs, knowing the time
for its rebirth is near…
“The Legend of the Lambton Worm caught my imagination from the very first time I
came across it in Carey Miller’s A Dictionary of Monsters and Mysterious Beasts when
I was about 8 or 9 years old,” says Green. “I think this was in part because the
illustrator had naively drawn the worm itself as a giant earthworm rather than in
the form of a dragon, as it should have been. But that image stuck.
“I have incorporated elements of the legend in my work before – most noticeably in
my very first book Spellbreaker (1993) and more comprehensively in the short story
‘Conqueror Worm’ (2009). This isn’t the first time I’ve incorporated the worm into
the Cthulhu Mythos either. What you have in ‘The Serpent’s Egg’ is effectively a
sequel to an as yet unpublished story called ‘The Scottish Patient’. Perhaps one
day you will be able to read both together, but only time – and the whim of dark
gods – will tell.”
NEW HEAVENS, by John Prescott:
“I watched in horror, feeling an impending and inescapable sense of doom and damnation,
as the New Orleans monolith broke in two.”
Alien obelisks rise from the oceans, their appearance a mere prelude to the horror
that will befall the world. The heavens have changed; our planet has been translocated
to another part of the universe, where entities older than time greet Earth’s arrival
with an alien hunger...
“For my contribution I wanted to do something a little different that I had not done
in previous works,” reveals Prescott. “In my previous works God was prevalent. In
this story God does not exist and the world is thrown into total mayhem by people
walking into the oceans, followed by the appearance of three hundred foot monoliths
from the oceans of the world. What follows is so amazing it leaves the world's scientists
baffled, while the people of Earth are herded like cattle for food to strange Elder
Gods. Travel with a small group of people as they try to restore the world and save
What makes Dreaming In Darkness so special is not just the stories, but the astonishing
artwork. Not content to stop with the superb cover art supplied by artist Nebezial,
John Prescott commissioned James R Powell to create a piece for each story.
“I first met John Prescott at a convention about three years ago,” explains Powell.
“We were both just hanging out, and a mutual friend introduced us. We started talking
and the friendship was almost instantaneous. And I remember John finding a small
plastic statue of Cthulhu in the Dealer's Room, and I went nuts over it and had to
get one too! I've been a fan of Lovecraft's work for over twenty years. My very first
published piece of art involved Cthulhu, so there's an added amount of fondness there.
When John approached me about doing the interior illustrations for Dreaming In Darkness,
I jumped at the chance! It was exciting to work with each individual author, combining
our imaginative forces. It's like making a big pot of soup. They gave me their recipes,
and I went down into the fruit cellar to collect the ingredients. Of course, it's
that Lovecraftian part of the cellar, where the jars generally contain something
not quite of this world, and not quite living and not quite dead!”
Aaron J. French (a.k.a. A. J. French) edited Monk Punk, an anthology of monk-themed
speculative fiction, and The Shadow of the Unknown, an anthology of nü-Lovecraftian
fiction. His next anthology Songs of the Satyrs will be published in 2013-14. Aaron's
recent article on Thomas Ligotti appeared in issue #20 of Dark Discoveries magazine,
where he is also an Associate Editor. Aaron's fiction has appeared in many publications
including Dark Discoveries, Black Ink Horror, Something Wicked, After Death..., Bedlam
Journal, and The Lovecraft eZine. He is also the Reviews Coordinator for Hellnotes
and a member of the Horror Writers Association.
Jonathan Green is a writer of speculative fiction, with more than forty-five books
to his name. He has written everything from Fighting Fantasy gamebooks to Doctor
Who novels, by way of numerous Black Library publications and myriad short stories.
He is also the creator of the Pax Britannia steampunk series for Abaddon Books.
Adrian Chamberlin lives in the small south Oxfordshire town of Wallingford that serves
as a backdrop to the UK television series Midsomer Murders, not far from where Agatha
Christie lies buried, dreaming in darkness. He is the author of the critically acclaimed
supernatural thriller The Caretakers as well as numerous short stories in a variety
of anthologies, mostly historical or futuristic based supernatural horror. He co-edited
Read the End First, an apocalyptic anthology with Suzanne Robb (author of the acclaimed
thriller Z-Boat) and has many other projects in the pipeline.
Say hello to Mr Golien at www.archivesofpain.com
John Prescott lives in the deep south and spends time with his two sons, Grafton
and Gavin, and his wife and two cats. Author of the hugely popular Revelation Chronicles
trilogy (the third and final volume, The End of All Things will be released at the
end of 2013) and co-author of the forthcoming YA fantasy Elli Caskell: Monster Hunter
with Catherine Swinford. He is the President of White Silver Publishing where he
wears many hats. He works full time and umpires girls fast pitch softball. He loves
all facets of art and has a huge passion for anything fantasy-based.
James R Powell is a native of Mississippi, where he quietly resides, surrounded by
the dark woods that provide inspiration for much of his work. He has numerous cats,
and a vast accumulation of old books and weird things. He has worked with a variety
of authors, including Neil Gaiman, Brian Hodge, and Scott Nicholson. He has done
design work for actor Lance Henriksen, and has painted guitars for Eddie Van Halen.