An Unforgiving Story of Gnosticism and Loneliness: The Nightmare Factory Reads The Course of the Heart

The lights flicker and dim before failing, leaving the Nightmare Factory Book Club shivering in the dark. That’s not how it happened, of course. The lights were never on, or was it that they were always off? Were we indoors, or did the trees just make it seem that way? Did it happen in the distant past, or will it occur on Tuesday February 17th at 8:00 p.m. in the BookPeople cafe? My memory has been unreliable since that treacherous day, night, or whatever in between. All I can remember is that, when the ritual was complete, a copy of The Course of the Heart by M. John Harrison had materialized in the center of the pentagram on the floor, and nothing was ever quite the same.

The Course of the Heart by M. John Harrison is a diabolically convolved, hypnotic incantation that ultimately summons itself. Kantian rational philosophy conspires with speculative Gnostic history in this densely fascinating novella to weave a modern world of magic and unknowable horror. Lurid and terrible imagery decorates the jagged shards of reality surrounding a disjointed coven of occultists trying to piece back together their shattered, collective sanity. Never fully recovered from a supernatural indiscretion in their youths, three novice magicians and their deviant mentor tell each other stories to dull the ache of an ideal existence almost realized. The incomprehensible dread of their psychedelic deed, however, is that something awful may have followed them back from the phantasmagoria.

Join the Nightmare Factory Book Club on Tuesday February 17th at 8:00 p.m. in the BookPeople cafe to share your interpretation of The Course of the Heart by M. John Harrison. This fantastical and fragmented narrative is subjective by design, so wear your opinions proudly and be the first to stubbornly insist that the story was about a sled the whole time. The Nightmare Factory Book Club meets on the thirdTuesday of every month at 8:00 p.m. in the cafe at BookPeople to discuss horror fiction both low- and highfalutin. Swing by on Tuesday February 17th to be welcomed into the fold as we analyze The Course of the Heart by M. John. Harrison, the tale that award-winning author China Miéville describes as an ” unforgiving story of gnosticism and loneliness.”

– Steve(n)

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M. John Harrison With A Cat! Don’t Be Frightened!

 

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