If all books are gateways to other realities, then Grimoire is a portal into a realm of the most profound darkness, a twilight world of black flowers thriving under the monstrous shadows cast forth across time by the writers and poets of the 19th-century French Decadence, the art of the Surrealists, and the weird fictions of H.P. Lovecraft and his acolytes. Each of the eleven stories, or Neo-Goth Narratives, which make up this collection presents the reader with a worldview of cosmic nihilism, a morbid atmosphere haunted by the revenants of the fin de siècle practitioners of black magic. Those who lose themselves in these sunless and Satanic vistas will learn arcane words of power, experience forbidden knowledge, and encounter fantastic and grotesque alien beings whose forms and powers we are unable to comprehend, whose very presence can drive one to insanity. Grimoire is no mere book: it is a 90,000 word scream from the Abyss of non-existence, a descent into Hell itself, a dream journal of God’s nightmares. Let the Danse Macabre begin!
James Champagne is the author of the novel Confusion. His work has also appeared in the anthology Userlands: New Fiction Writers From the Blogging Underground. He was born in 1980 and lives in Rhode Island. He is also the owner of the non-profit Mauve Zone Recordings netlabel. Grimoire is his second work.
“James Champagne’s Grimoire is a brilliant, gloriously rich collection with a fastidious, lush, secretive style and stories as compelling as they are circuitous as they are instructive as they are confounding. One of the most indescribable, original, and impressive books of fiction I’ve read in a long time.” —Dennis Cooper, author of the George Miles Cycle
“James Champagne’s tour de force, Grimoire, creates a world where belief is a spell, meaning is a mantra, and the failed thoughts of a black mind rise again to reclaim their shinning majesty.” —Mark Gluth, author of The Late Work Of Margaret Kroftis
“Here is a new voice in horror writing who’s uniquely imaginative work shows the breadth of his influences: from The Greats of the past, Lovecraft and M.R. James to 21st century graphic novel writers Neil Gaiman/Grant Morrison and transgressive recording artists Current 93/David Tibet. Here you will find traditional Locked Room stories next to tales containing wildly imaginative conceits: shelves of human beings that sentient books ‘read’ and a nightmarish ending wherein the narrator is trapped in the grooves of a record he had been haunted by before. Apart from the often disturbing horror and off-beat meditation on the human condition there is also great humour: from observations on the real world of Wal-Mart madness to the comic monologues of Mr Orwig. James Champagne writes in a new and distinct style that will present to you satisfyingly familiar concepts and conceits as well as startle you with the new and hitherto unimagined.” —Joseph Mills, author of Towards the End and Obsessions