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But First, the Dark (by Frank Chigas)

SKU: MP2010-BF

Hardcover with jacket

333 pages
Limited Edition of 250 copies


    Author Frank Chigas brings you ten spellbinding tales of terror that will make you question the illusion of a sane world and the very fabric of reality.

    What menacing stranger awaits in "Ms. Trent's Dark Holiday"? Why does "The Missing Voussair" hold such inexorable tragedy? What is the cryptic nature of "The Pocket Watch"? Who are the "Demons" that haunt a man through the streets of Paris? And what blasphemous rites are being practiced in the horrifying novella "Indian Pipes"? You may not want to know the unpleasant answers!

    These stories and more lie ahead for the brave soul willing to lower the lights and explore these sinister sketches of death.

    The safety of daylight may save you, the reader, from the cold grip of horror, but first…the dark.


    "Six years after the appearance of his stunning debut collection The Damp Chamber, Frank Chigas is finally back with a couple of volumes of new short stories. But First The Dark collects ten "tales of the uncanny" which certainly make up for the long wait…Once again Chigas exhibits a knack for crafting well told dark tales apt to provide many pleasant shivers to genre lovers."
    — Mario Guslandi, The Zone

    "Mr. Chigas grabs you from the first story and drags you into the depths of darkness. I could not put down the book once I picked it up…This book is riveting, terrifying, and haunting from beginning to end. Mr. Chigas leads you down many dark and twisted paths, and you follow willingly. The storytelling is nothing short of masterful. 5 out of 5."
    — Sarah Covert, She Never Slept

    "[Chigas] builds a solid plot and develops strong atmosphere and imagery for each of the entries …A lot of the stories remind me style-wise of some of the older masters like Lovecraft, M.R. James, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen and so on, but Chigas definitely has his own voice."
    — James Beach, Dark Discoveries

    "This is a great book to read where stories read smoothly and slowly build up to the ending that delivers every time."
    — D.W. Jones, Blood Moon Rising

    "I was highly impressed by this collection of short, personal horror tales. This two book set (available separately) is comprised of twenty tales of the macabre (ten per book) in a stylistic yet easily read style, something that I would liken to tales told by old gentlemen in smoking jackets as they sat in their armchairs by a roaring fire …Chigas masterfully draws you into his world; the stories are all set in the early part of the twentieth century, and his poise with the ambiance and vernacular of that era are spot-on. He mixes elements that hearken back to the works of Lovecraft and even Poe in his narrative style, but it's clearly done in his own voice, and that voice evokes some hair-raising moments of dread…Each story in these two volumes reaches deep into the abyss of darkness, taking average people and seemingly innocuous, easily relatable situations and plunging them into a maelstrom of terror and hopeless despair. While the protagonists typically survive their experiences, they are always scarred, and we, the readers, along with them; worse the wear for our glimpse into the unknown. The tales are short, but that is not to say they are lacking in any literary sense; Chigas presents his characters in such a way as you immediately feel drawn to them, and share in their plights convincingly; indeed, I would venture that for tales of terror, they are all the perfect length. The reader is given all that they need to enjoy the ride…For purveyors of truly dark, primordially frightening tales, I highly recommend these works."


    "Fans of Lovecraft and Poe, rejoice!  This is a devotion that I would not shout lightly.  Frank Chigas has proven himself to be a master of the supernatural short story.


    Each of these ten tales are set in the early twentieth century, and each is so beautifully well written that the reader is drawn in from the first paragraph.  Through Chigas' lively characters and ability to employ engaging dialogue I was transported to a more genteel time, where refined customs were observed; all the while feeling the sense of creeping horror, the evil lurking just around the corner. Crouched, and waiting to rip you into small, bloody pieces."

    — Monster Librarian