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Publishers Weekly praises Richard Gavin’s ‘At Fear’s Altar’


We’re very pleased to see that At Fear’s Altar, the numinous horror collection by our own Richard Gavin, has received an excellent review from Publishers Weekly. A couple of months ago we passed along some strong praise from other reviewers. Now PW has this to say about the book:

Literate horror fans who have yet to encounter Canadian author Gavin (Charnel Wine) are in for a treat in this collection of 13 stories that evoke familiar genre themes in creative ways. The lyrical prose is often at a higher level than usual presentations of otherworldly demons and malevolent forces (fireworks are “tadpoles of sulphurous light squiggling down and dissolving just above the black lake water”). Gavin has a knack for original plotlines.

— “At Fear’s Altar by Richard Gavin,” Publishers Weekly, January 28, 2013

The remainder of the review singles out several stories for specific mention.

So, in short, fans of literate horror with a deep heart of philosophical and spiritual darkness should take note. And don’t forget that Richard himself offers a suggested reading list of classic high-quality horror stories that actually horrify in his latest column.

Positive reviews of AT FEAR’S ALTAR by Teeming Brain contributor Richard Gavin

Teeming Brain columnist Richard Gavin (Echoes from Hades) recently received two excellent reviews for his new book At Fear’s Altar (Hippocampus Press, 2012).

At Speculative Fiction Junkie, reviewer Ben writes,

At Fear’s Altar is an impressive collection, as impressive as what I’ve come to expect from Mr. Gavin. While it does not contain as many of my all time favorite stories as his last collection, it does contain some truly world class tales. Mr. Gavin’s gift is not just that he writes excellent cosmic horror (which he assuredly does). It’s also that while remaining completely true to cosmic horror’s signature focus on the indifference of the vast cosmos towards humanity, his starting point is often a place of sympathy for the plight of his human protagonists and their myths. This makes it all the more terrifying when the cosmic forces he writes about inevitably vanquish these ill-fated individuals.

At Rising Shadow, reviewer Seregil of Rhiminee writes (in prose inflected with many oddly lyrical second language-isms),

Canadian author Richard Gavin has established himself as a leading contemporary writer of weird fiction. His richly nuanced prose style, his imaginative range, and his shrewdness in the portrayal of character and domestic conflict make his tales far more than mere shudder-coining. In this fourth collection of short stories and novelettes, Gavin again casts a wide imaginative net, from haunted Canadian woodlands to the carnivorous mesas of the American frontier, from Lovecraft’s New England to the spirit traditions of Japan. Of the dozen stories included in this book, eight are previously unpublished — a rich new feast of terror for devotees of a writer who works in the tradition of Poe, Machen, Blackwood, and Ligotti … [The book] is an excellent collection of horror and dark fantasy stories. It’s a brilliantly wonderful and disturbing collection for horror readers who want to read quality.

You can purchase At Fear’s Altar directly from the publisher or from Amazon.