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The Damp Chamber and Other Dark Places (by Frank Chigas)

SKU: MP2004-DC
$40.00Price

Hardcover with jacket

345 pages with illustrations
Limited Edition of 500 copies

  • DESCRIPTION

    From a deserted research facility harboring monstrous secrets to portents of death found on the cold waves of the Atlantic, The Damp Chamber collects nineteen terrifying tales in an attractive hardcover, with original artwork by the author.

    Besides the terrifying title novelette, there are many other stories to be found within these pages to jangle the nerves of the unprepared. The House of August opens its decaying doors to a nightmare trapped within its very frame, and evil is awakened with the tolling of The Copper Bell. A haunted inn on the sea-swept cliffs of Dover is the backdrop for horror in She Is a Picture In Black, while The Return of the One triggers a deadly resolution for the unwary. Frank Chigas stops at every sinister detour in-between, guiding the reader through these dark places with a sure hand.

    With a penchant for building a palpable atmosphere, the author has created a lasting document of fright that will stay with the reader for some time to come.

  • REVIEWS

    "Frank really has his finger on the pulse of horror, particularly ghost stories, as evinced by this startling, often disturbing but wholly exciting and original collection of fiction. As I read The Damp Chamber, Frank drew me into each one with the clarity of his descriptiveness, the well formed and deftly honed characters, as well as the exceedingly well informed knowledge that went into making both characters and story locations totally real. From the content of each, a remarkable amount of research must have gone into creating and verifying the settings for them, and it visibly shows in each of their proceedings. Each story is a masterpiece of creativity…A very distinctive style is immediately apparent in this collection …Dread and tension abound …with a carefully crafted and powerful aura of malevolence in each tale. Oftimes gruesome, mainly bewildering at the horror depicted, yet satisfyingly refreshing with each of these nineteen tales…The book's dust-wrapper is like the fiction within, a masterpiece of understated menace. Frank Chigas is a name to be reckoned with in the horror fiction firmament, and one that I am sure will be appearing with more regularity and intensity in the future. If his short stories are this startling, I eagerly await his first full length novel with bated breath. Certainly a most deserving successor to the achievements and reputation of the likes of J S Le Fanu and Algernon Blackwood. A true masterpiece of the macabre."
    —Horror Express Magazine

     

    “With a respected history that extends back many centuries, stories of horror still entertain and still fill bookshelves. In terms of twenty-first-century literature, there is much experimentation in both technique and content, but if zombie and vampire epics are particularly popular, there yet remains room for the traditional narrative of menace and terror in a less extended length than that of the novel. Frank Chigas has skillfully demonstrated this fact in three fine collections of new short stories that have appeared in the last decade, starting with the nineteen tales in The Damp Chamber and Other Bad Places in 2004. This was followed by two more collections, Strange Corridors and But First the Dark in 2010, which included a further twenty selections that fully confirmed his talent. All three of these attractively produced books were published in limited editions by Medusa Press and are strikingly illustrated by Chigas himself, his minimalist and austere artwork reflecting the content well and being somewhat reminiscent of Lee Brown Coye. In The Damp Chamber, Chigas established his literary credentials. His style is orthodox and straightforward, without pretension; there are very few contemporary settings and many of the stories are told wholly or partially via letters or diaries, bearing witness to the influence of earlier writers, influences that the author freely acknowledges. But if the book is a purposeful attempt to reproduce the tenor of fiction that was popularized in earlier decades Chigas remains very much his own man, and displays a unique voice in his bleak tales. …Chigas invokes an admirably expressive period atmosphere to his locations with strong descriptions. [He] appears to have found a satisfying literary niche for himself with these latest stories, a niche which may be decidedly old-fashioned by today’s standards but which still produces extremely effective fiction. He very much retains his ability to create chilling scenarios and unsettling nuances of fright.”

    — Mike Barrett, The New York Review of Science Fiction

     

    "Chigas is very much a traditionalist. His stories are extraordinarily well written in the style of classic pulp fiction. No reader would have trouble believing these tales were penned during the Golden Age of pulp fiction. Fans of Lovecraft, Derleth, Hodgeson, Cave, Quinn, and Jacobi will discover there actually is someone who writes 'em like they used to. Chigas' prose is steeped in chilling atmosphere…His strongest efforts are about as good as horror fiction gets…These are seriously creepy and supremely satisfying tales that come highly recommended. This volume is limited to 500 unsigned copies, so you're advised to scoop one up before the word spreads too far."

    — Garrett Peck,  Flesh & Blood Magazine

    "FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS —"The Damp Chamber and Other Bad Places by Frank Chigas is one of the best collections of horror stories I've ever read -- if not the very best. With the stylish storytelling prowess of Stephen King, the audacious gruesomeness of H.P. Lovecraft, the psychological intensity of Ramsey Campbell and the cerebral machinations of Algernon Blackwood, this masterful collection absolutely blew me away . . . The Damp Chamber and Other Bad Places is an artistic masterwork that should -- and will -- be cherished by horror aficionados for generations to come . . . The Damp Chamber and Other Bad Places will be a prized collector's item once the rest of the world finds out about Frank Chigas."

    — Paul Goat Allen, SF Reader

    "Once in a while one happens to run into a previously unknown book, buy it on impulse and find it to be unexpectedly excellent. The Damp Chamber . . . is proof that sometimes impulsive acts provide delightful surprises . . . compelling, extremely entertaining and, what counts more to the horror fan, pleasantly disquieting…his writing style is firm and smooth, his ability as a storyteller is excellent, and his plots very imaginative…The narrative style is always straightforward, essential and simple, but never ordinary or sloppy. On the contrary Chigas's writing is quite elegant, I'd be tempted to say "classical", with a knack for choosing precisely the right word. The result is a very enjoyable experience for anyone who likes to read a well-told story. In a time when so much disposable fiction is immediately out of the reader's mind as soon as the last page is turned, stories like the ones included in this collection cannot be easily forgotten."

    — Mario Guslandi, Agony Column


    "If I could sue somebody for scaring the wits out of me, Frank Chigas would be first on my list. His collection of short horror stories, The Damp Chamber and Other Bad Places, literally gave me nightmares and made me unable to go to sleep without a nightlight on . . . I found myself saying after each story, "He can't get any scarier," only to find myself wrong, DEAD WRONG! Frank Chigas is a new master of horror, as these stories and accompanying illustrations suggest. He not only knows how to scare you witless, but he knows how to turn on the inner devices of the imagination that only a great storyteller knows how to do. In fact, in Chigas's Damp Chambers, the power of the imagination to terrify is really all that exists…This book is a treasure, or maybe a Pandora's Box, depending on your capacity for dealing with terror."

    — Marie Jones, BookIdeas.com
     

    "I don't know where Frank Chigas emerged from. He's not a name you hear everyday in the horror genre, but neither his distinctive style nor his powerful voice are easy to forget, and after reading this fiction collection he is now one of only a handful of present-day horror writers I can honestly and gladly praise . . . Chigas's skill is what sets him and his stories apart from the bevy of others who attempt to achieve this level of quality in the genre. Simply stated: Go buy this book and see for yourself how good horror can be when in the right hands."
    — Sarah Arthur, The Edge Tales of Suspense

    "A frightening foray into places better left undisturbed. Chigas deftly maneuvers the reader through these 'bad places,' building tension and inspiring dread with a finely detailed and eloquent writing style. A menagerie of unearthly horrors lie in wait for those who dare to venture within The Damp Chamber."

    — Christine Filipak, Dark Realms Magazine

    "The Damp Chamber And Other Bad Places showcases nineteen short stories by Frank Chigas, one of the newest and best authors in the field of horror fantasy. Chigas writes with flair, style, originality, and conjuring effectiveness. These are the kinds of tales that need to be read with all the lights on! Very highly recommended reading for the horror fantasy enthusiast."
    — Midwest Book Review

    "Frank Chigas particularly loves a good ghost story, such as the very first in his collection…Chigas's writing has a strong literary bent to it, but that's not to say that what ultimately happens isn't satisfyingly gruesome. The Damp Chamber is not for the feint of heart. Bloody death and mayhem abound, but of course true fans of the genre wouldn't have it any other way."

    — Brian D. Rubendall, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine

     

    "Frank Chigas has delivered 19 creepy tales that each scares and impresses on its own. These tales have an old-fashioned and pleasing Lovecraftian element to them — a quaint restraint found too seldom in modern horror authors."

    —Fangoria


    "Like H.P. Lovecraft before him, Frank Chigas creates his own supernatural mythos, populated by denizens of the other world, determined to cross into this one . . . The overall effect of the book is a feeling of dread, a fear of the unknown. And that, of course, is the essential quality of a scary story . . . These stories, taken together, do what Lovecraft did, creating a dark mythos of creatures found under rocks or in dark corners, coming through from the netherworld . . . These psychological tales hearken back to the classic horror authors such as Lovecraft and Poe, and his adept storytelling and refreshing style make for an engaging read. Although probably not a book to read right before bedtime."

    —Alyce Wilson, Wild Violet


    "It's refreshing to find a writer who knows the value of atmosphere and imagery in a story. It's clear from the first tale onward that Chigas is comfortable with the English language. The prose is smooth, well-written, and reminds me of the horror stories from the old masters like Blackwood, Machen, and Lovecraft. Most of the stories are set in the past and could have easily been published alongside the likes of Poe and Ambrose Bierce."

    — Post Mortem Magazine