nightmerries: the lighter side of darkness

cover for kindle book, Nightmerries, design by SRS/CR/MM, artwork by Goya (Little Goblins) NIGHTMERRIES will chew you up, spit you out, and leave you twitching on the carpet in a puddle of partially digested muck.

Within the more than 230 phantasmagoric pages of this so-called “book” lurk over 60 feculent fictions (read ‘em and weep) from a gangrenous culture.

Out now at Amazon, Nightmerries includes more than 21 illustrations you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. Cover artwork by Francisco Goya (1746‒1828)*.

In a random act of unkindness, the book's preface is reproduced below.




When “wicked” started meaning “good”, the end-times were upon us. No need to reach for your blunderbuss: this book is not a fundamentalist wolf-cry. The only rapture in these pages comes after “Cosmic”, and has nothing to do with Jesus, Jehovah, janissaries or jihad. Misanthropy yes, religion no.

If it’s all coming to an inglorious, bastardly end, we might as well have some fun before we get there. That’s why the fictions sprawling across these pages are so uniformly dark. Black is the new black. Wickedly good. Epic, if you must.

These stories were extracted from such wicked works as “Fiends & Freaks”, “Mastress” and “Hags to Haggis”. You could acquire those books separately. Or combined into this epic volume for far fewer sponduleks than you would otherwise have had to part with.

This very preface itself is cobbled together from the prefaces of the first two books in the above list. And I’m not ashamed that I have no shame when it comes to recycling.

You’ve been told by your mother at least once that if you haven’t got anything nice to say, then don’t say anything. In those terms, this book is a slap in every mother’s face. Because there’s very little niceness in these pages. But there are many mothers, in diverse shapes and sizes and mentalities. And there’s quite a bit of slapping. So if you’ve come here expecting to be uplifted and validated, then turn around and go back and take your camel with you.

The point is sharp and tapered. No, sorry, the point is that the so-called work of Cosmic Rapture encompasses a very wide range of qualities: black and white, wrong and right, day and night, dark and light, will and might, loose and tight, blindness and sight, etc, which is as it should be. Peace, love and joy are OK in small quantities, but must be tempered by strife, hate and fear to prevent the onset of coma.

Whatever the case, I find it impossible to disagree with the King of Brobdingnag’s assessment in Jonathon Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels that humans are “…the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”

But the upside is that wickedness, randomness and instability are inherently more engrossing than goodness, sweetness and light. Who would read a news story with the headline “Everything Goes According to Plan” or “Dog fails to bite Postman”?

Good and Evil need each other, they define each other. They exist only by virtue of the contrast between them. In the same way as Light is the lack of Dark, and Dark the lack of Light, Good and Evil are fixed in a mutual dependency from which (hopefully) some entertainment can be extracted.

God this Preface is boring. Just a bunch of pompous guff about good and evil, and all that shite.

Look, I’ll just quickly tell you that what you’ve got here is a disorderly array of short fictions featuring great dollops of ham-fisted irony, and far too many self-referential paradoxes. All wrapped up within an awkwardly idiosyncratic style featuring aggressive punctuation and great, long wagon-trains of adjectives. If there is a connecting thread or theme it’s about the downside — the darkside — of modern human culture, whatever that is.

The word “culture” has two meanings. It means (in corporate-speak) “the way things are done around here”. But it also means “a breeding ground for bacteria”. Which is an accurate description of where humanity is at these days — desperately trying to stay afloat in the sea of pus oozing from the gangrenous corpus of Western culture (now permeating North, South and East as well).

But it’s not the end of the world, merely the end of the human species. (Good riddance, says the rest of the planet.)

Cosmic Rapture

Sydney, 2014

* Cover artwork includes two aquatint prints from Goya's Los Capricos series: # 49: Duendecitos (Hobgoblins) and # 40 De que mal morira? (Of what ill will he die?)


eBooks by Cosmic Rapture:

NIGHTMERRIES: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF DARKNESS This so-called "book" will chew you up, spit you out, and leave you twitching and frothing on the carpet. More than 60 dark and feculent fictions (read ‘em and weep) copiously illustrated by over 20 grotesque images you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.

AWAREWOLF & OTHER CRHYMES AGAINST HUMANITY (Vot could be Verse?) We all hate poetry, right? But we might make an exception for this sick and twisted stuff. This devil's banquet of adults-only offal features more than 50 satanic sonnets, vitriolic verses and odious odes.

MANIC MEMES & OTHER MINDSPACE INVADERS A disturbing repository of quotably quirky quotes, sayings, proverbs, maxims, ponderances, adages and aphorisms. This menagerie holds no fewer than 184 memes from eight meme-species perfectly adapted to their respective environments.

FIENDS & FREAKS Adults-only Tales of Serpents, Dragons, Devils, Lobsters, Anguished Spirits, Gods, Anti-gods and Other Horse-thieves You Wouldn't Want to Meet in a Dark Kosmos: 4th Edition

HAGS TO HAGGIS Whiskey-soaked Tails of War-nags, Witches, Manticores and Escapegoats, Debottlenecking and Desilofication, Illustrated