Book lovers are universally prone to binge reading. Once a reader finds an author they connect with, they’re likely to seek out everything that writer has ever published. But some bookaholics will go even further, sifting through pages of Google results for interviews, collaborations, and book signings where possible. Editor Eric J. Guignard understands this obsession, and as the owner and operator of Dark Moon Books, he has created a series of primers guaranteed to delight fiction completists.
The sixth book in the Exploring Dark Short Fiction series, A Primer to Ramsey Campbell, collects six short stories by the legendary horror writer Ramsey Campbell alongside academic commentary from Michael Arnzen, essays from Aenzen and Campbell, a bibliography, and an author interview.
Longtime horror readers will be familiar with the name Ramsey Campbell. The British master of the macabre has been publishing fiction since the mid-seventies and bending minds for just as long. But even those that have set up permanent residence between the shelves of their local bookstore are in for a treat when they pick up Dark Moon Books’ A Primer to Ramsey Campbell.
Campbell’s unique ability to craft a tale filled with perplexing images and unsettling interactions is on full display here. Fans of the author will be pleased to have the chance to reread weird stories like “The Place of Revelation” and “The Alternative” with new scholarly context provided by Arnzen. Mr. Campbell has also provided a new piece entitled “The Bill,” the plot of which will stalk readers’ minds long after they have turned the page.
But while Campbell’s fiction might lure readers to A Primer to Ramsey Campbell, it’s the nonfiction portion of the collection that will keep the book glued to their hands. Campbell’s essay on his journey as a writer is particularly engaging, as it opens a portal into the influences that inspired his work in an easy, conversational style.
Exploring Dark Short Fiction is a wonderful endeavor that is bound to introduce a whole new generation of readers to the best the genre has to offer. Fans of Ramsey Cambell should mark their calendars for the release of A Primer to Ramsey Campbell. Your bookshelves will be incomplete without it.
Looking for another iconic anthology? Check out When Things Get Dark.