Noctuary & the Spectral Link by Thomas Ligotti
Hardcover – Chiroptera Press – November 2023 – 251 pages
Chiroptera Press presentsNoctuary & The Spectral Link by the legendary Thomas Ligotti, a consolidated volume of two horror collections, brought back into print for the first time in over a decade. This edition from Chiroptera Press follows the success of other high-quality, deluxe Ligotti publications, most recently Ligotti’s narrative and lyric poetry tour de force, Pictures of Apocalypse.
Noctuary is divided into three sections, following Ligotti’s famous introduction, “In the Night, in the Dark: A Note on the Appreciation of Weird Fiction”: Studies in Shadow, Discourse on Blackness, and Notebook of the Night. Section One, Studies in Shadow, begins with “The Medusa,” which follows the protagonist’s lifelong obsession with the deadly gorgon of myth, blurring the lines between fiction, metaphor, and reality. “Conversations in a Dead Language” chronicles three consecutive Halloween nights in the life of a mailman whose unspeakable proclivities lead to a shadowy doom. “The Prodigy of Dreams” follows the elderly Arthur Emerson, whose prayers years before to an obscure god are finally answered. “Mrs. Rinaldi’s Angel” concerns a child with extreme nightmares, leading his mother to seek dubious assistance from a wise woman and her supernatural partner. Section two, Discourse on Blackness, begins with “The Tsalal,” an epic and apocalyptic novelette, which introduces readers to the skeleton town of Moxton and the enigmatic Andrew Maness, from whom an ancient power grows. “Mad Night of Atonement” presents a disgraced scientist whose latest invention channels the bleak power of the Creator Itself, while “The Strange Design of Master Rignolo” follows a visual artist’s ambition to insert himself into his own artwork, leading to absolute madness. Lastly, “The Voice in the Bones” evokes a prisoner within a surreal prison that exists as both fiction and reality. The third section, Notebook of the Night, features twenty remarkable vignettes exploring insidious exploits, esoteric rituals, and hymns to the void.
The Spectral Link, Ligotti’s most recently published short story collection, emerged following his near-death experience on the surgeon’s table. The first novelette, Metaphysica Morum, channels all the rage and despair of Ligotti’s nonfiction treatise, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, in both stark and hilarious form. The combined volume ends with Ligotti’s poignant masterpiece, The Small People, exploring the uncanny terror of being alive in a world where we can never be certain who and what we are.