Moonlight pulses evilly through the clouds this Tuesday night as the natural universe expresses its contempt for the loathsome gathering of human husks known to polite society as The Nightmare Factory Book Club. By some wicked alchemy, these vile puppets cloaked in man-flesh have insinuated themselves into the hidden folds of the world – the dark bazaars, the out-of-the-way curiosity shops, the insane pinball museums that gnaw on your thoughts in your somnambulist hours – and now, when the darkness comes to April 19th, know too that the Nightmare Factory has wormed its way into Texas’s largest independent bookstore to lick at the fringes of comprehension, devouring the spaces in between what is real and what isn’t as they discuss Thomas Ligotti’s grimoire of philosophical terror Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe. Do not mistake their vacant stare, though. As their dead tongues warble limply in their wooden mouths, their clockwork minds are ratcheting maddeningly, and, before you’ve even noticed the oddness that is their very presence, they have already welcomed you into their fold.
Simultaneously delivering two long out-of-print collections from publishing purgatory, Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe illuminates Thomas Ligotti as one of only a handful of living authors to be honored with a Penguin Classics printing of their work. The stories seeping from the pages exhibit Ligotti as a master stylist, cultivating an atmosphere of dread and discomfort to the extent that, not only do the words describe the horrors, the words themselves are those horrors. To quote “Vastarien” from Songs of a Dead Dreamer, “Have you ever heard of a book, an extremely special book, that is not…yes, that is not about something, but actually is that something?” Ligotti has distilled that terrifying existential transcendence into these volumes and served these abject nightmares cleverly disguised as fiction.
The Nightmare Factory Book Club infiltrates the coffee shop inside BookPeople on the third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. to perpetuate the tradition of literary fright by discussing the greatest horror novels ever committed to page. Join us this Tuesday April 19th to share some screams and chat about Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe by living legend Thomas Ligotti. You are one of us. You have always been one of us.