Okay, before I say a couple quick things about one of my favorite Ramsey Campbell books, I want to make sure I mention that Ron Malfi’s Floating Staircase is now for sale just about everywhere. The dude can flat-out write, so if you’re interested, here’s the link:
Yeah, I still need to figure out how to properly post links. Gimme a little time.
The other thing I wanted to talk about—only for a minute because I’ve got to get back to editing my WIP—is Ramsey Campbell’s incredible The Face That Must Die. In Danse Macabre Stephen King says something about menace being Campbell’s main effect. For me, he’s never done menace better than in TFTMD. It also happens to be one of the most heartbreaking pieces of fiction I’ve ever read.
The protagonist is Horridge, an interesting character to say the least. He’s perpetually and morbidly paranoid, so much so that his surroundings are actively and unrelentingly hostile. A couple of quotes from a particularly fine section:
“As he fled, the threat of a nervous itch swarmed over the whole of his skin.”
“He let go of the door as though it were the lid of a box of maggots.”
Can you feel Horridge’s nervousness yet? Later on…
“The tilted screen was full of Peter Sellers‘ face, Orientally disguised. Was everything in league with the killer, to confuse him?”
The possibility of an itch. A door concealing squirming white maggots. Peter Sellers in cahoots with Horridge’s tormentors. Everything in The Face That Must Die is a threat to Horridge—to both his life and his sanity, not necessarily in that order. Campbell personifies even the most mundane items to further the conspiracy against his main character.
Enough for now. Go buy this fine book. Then buy Malfi’s Floating Staircase. Then check out one or all of the five new Campbells in the Samhain Horror launch. Here’s the cover for The Seven Days of Cain:
And here’s the link to purchase it from Samhain: