Wednesday, January 15, 2014

David C. Smith's ... Dark Muse

Just felt compelled to post again, if only in that I purchased a copy of David C. Smith's "Dark Muse" for a friend and was suddenly inspired to revist my own. Now, maybe I'm being a bit biased, with David being a friend (and with Damnation Books giving me a shot with "Flask of Eyes"), but gosh, you really must plunge into "Dark Muse". It's ever so bloody engrossing: far more so than you might ever imagine. 

A good number of you are probably familiar with David's legendary sword-and-sorcery offerings, such as his co-authored "Red Sonja" romps with Richard Tierney. Others may have experienced the majestic, modern joys of "Fair Rules of Evil" or engaging passages of "Call of Shadows". "Dark Muse" is a change from such, being an all-out horror tale, but is no less invigorating for it, if you fancy dark, psychological excursions, that is.

The latter's plot is easy to empathize with, in an arguably very fundamental way. For example, have you ever gotten into a particular author's work, found it sensitive or sprawling, wondered what made the author tick, fashion the particular plot, because maybe there's something in his words that links you especially to the story, that even morbidly chills you in such a way that you can't help but want to meet the person who so boldly composed it? What if, though, you eventually discovered the author to be not so nice, maybe cruel, sadistic, someone unsavory from your past...perhaps, even a serial killer? What if, after you were introduced to such a character, he tenaciously stayed in contact with you, toyed with you, despite your wishes otherwise? Unsettling, eh?

In this instance, the premise revolves around a book editor named Jack, who receives a series of enthralling science-fiction and supernatural submissions from a Mystery Man writer. Jack becomes increasingly intrigued by the author's work, always excitedly anticipating new entries from him, which oddly enough, come postmarked from a number of spots around the country. Jack begins to believe this fellow to be the next big thing in story-telling, and for the sake of publishing his work, inevitably agrees to meet him. However, the Mystery Man has more on his mind than just sharing stories. As such, Jack eventually finds himself plummeting into a harrowing escapade of madness and fear, but hey, you'll just have to read the yarn yourself to see how masterfully it unfolds...

Truly, folks, "Dark Muse" hooks you right from the start, with snappy, philosophical dialogue and keeps you on edge right until the unsettling end, much like any good, Hitchcockian thriller would: a veritable "Psycho" or "Strangers on a Train", I dare say.

You can purchase copies of this wonderfully demented tour de' force by visiting, or heck, go right to the source at ...  (and while you're at it, check out Damnation's other cool, creepy offerings).

By the way, Damnation has a superb, audio commercial linked to its site, promoting "Dark Muse" in the old-time radio vein--with David performing one of the voices! It's extremely atmospheric!  (Also, isn't Dawne Dominique's cover imagry eerily fetching? Imagine the wonders she could do if enlisted to design a "Texas Chainsaw" poster!)

Anyway, hope you don't mind my unabashed promotion here of David's book, but truly, I just couldn't help myself. "Dark Muse" is absolutely that damn good. Check it out...then spread the word!!!

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