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At Last, the Night Has a Hero

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midian-unmadeWritten by Joseph Nassise

“At last, the night has a hero.” That was the subtitle given to the short novel, “Cabal,” by horror fantasist Clive Barker when it was first published in 1988 and I have to admit, it’s pretty catchy. Rather cool, too, in some indefinable way. But then again, the whole book is like that.

“Cabal” was first published in 1988, as part of the sixth and final installment in Barker’s Books of Blood series in the United States and as a stand-alone edition in the United Kingdom. Two years later the story was adapted into the film, Nightbreed, written and directed by Clive himself. I discovered both the book and the film about the same time and began my love affair with the Tribes of the Moon.

The hero in question is a young man by the name of Aaron Boone. When the reader first meets him in the opening scenes of “Cabal,” he is being treated by a psychiatrist named Decker for an unspecified mental disorder. To Boone’s surprise and horror, he soon learns, through Decker, that he is responsible for the savage murders of eleven people. This is too much for him to bear and Boone tries to kill himself. When that simple act fails, he attempts to escape his fate by fleeing to the legendary city of Midian, the place “where the monsters dwell” in the wilds of Canada, a place he has been regularly seeing in his dreams for some time.

Boone sees himself as a monster, and he hopes to find sanctuary in Midian, among those he considers his own kind. What he doesn’t realize is that the so-called monsters don’t consider themselves to be monsters at all. In fact, they reserve that label for humanity, for what else would they call those who have hounded, hunted, and slaughtered them through the centuries?

This juxtaposition is part and parcel of what makes “Cabal” so intriguing. In Barker’s world there is beauty in the monstrous. There is darkness in the light. There is horror in the normal and the familiar. And he shows that to us without hesitation or subterfuge. Characters that are supposed to represent the good of society—the doctor, the cop, the priest—are all figures of darkness. The doctor, Decker, is the actual killer. His plan to escape the swift hand of justice by pinning the killings on Boone falls apart when the younger man flees. The officer of the law whom Decker enlists to track down Boone is an egomaniac concerned only with his own brand of justice. The priest, the supposed moral compass of the authorities, is nothing more than a hypocrite.

Boone, on the other hand, represents the opposite path. His conversion from human to Nightbreed to the savior known as Cabal takes him on a journey from the human to the monstrous. Far from being a figure of evil, however, he becomes the savior of the Tribes of the Moon, tasked with rebuilding the city of Midian and saving the breed from destruction by those with far less humanity than they.

The stories in Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed are all extensions of this theme. Co-editor Del Howison and I sought to pick up where Clive left off, to select stories that not only illustrated what happened to the Nightbreed after the destruction of their beloved city of Midian, but also asked the reader to look deeper, to see beyond the surface, and to handle their expectations with care.

In “Cabal,” the night had a hero and his name was Boone. In Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, the night has many heroes and they are never what you expect them to be.

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This article originally appeared in the August 2015 Tor Books Newsletter.

Follow Joseph Nassise on Twitter at @Jnassise, on Facebook, or visit him online.

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New Releases: 9/27/16

Here’s what went on sale today!

Cloudbound by Fran Wilde

Cloudbound by Fran WildeAfter the dust settles, the City of living bones begins to die, and more trouble brews beneath the clouds in this stirring companion to Fran Wilde’s Updraft.

When Kirit Densira left her home tower for the skies, she gave up many things: her beloved family, her known way of life, her dreams of flying as a trader for her tower, her dreams. Kirit set her City upside down, and fomented a massive rebellion at the Spire, to the good of the towers–but months later, everything has fallen to pieces.

The Dreaming Hunt by Cindy Dees and Bill Flippin

The Dreaming Hunt by Cindy Dees and Bill FlippinIn Cindy Dees and Bill Flippin’s The Sleeping King our intrepid adventurers found the imprisoned echo of a long lost king on the Dream Plane. He told them how to wake him in the mortal realm: find his lost regalia–crown, ring, sword, shield, and bow–and rejoin them with his sleeping body.

In The Dreaming Hunt, the heroes begin their quest. But they’ve caught the attention of powerful forces determined to stop them. Worse, their visit to the Dream Plane has unleashed chaos, and the fight is spilling over into the mortal realm.

NOW IN PAPERBACK:

Midian Unmade edited by Joseph Nassise and Del HowisonMidian Umade, edited by Joseph Nassise and Del Howison

Midian Unmade tells the stories of the Nightbreed after the fall of their city, Midian. Driven from their homes, their friends and family members slain before their eyes, the monsters become a mostly-hidden diaspora. Some are hunted; others, hunters. Some seek refuge. Others want revenge.

Mystic by Jason Denzel

Mystic by Jason DenzelI called to the Myst, and it sent us you.

For hundreds of years, high-born nobles have competed for the chance to learn of the Myst. Powerful, revered, and often reclusive, Mystics have the unique ability to summon and manipulate the Myst: the underlying energy that lives at the heart of the universe. Once in a very great while, they take an apprentice, always from the most privileged sects of society. Such has always been the tradition-until a new High Mystic takes her seat and chooses Pomella AnDone, a restless, low-born teenager, as a candidate.

NEW IN MANGA

Pride and Prejudice Story by Jane Austen; Art by Shiei

Servamp Vol. 7 by Strike Tanaka

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At Last, the Night Has a Hero

Midian Unmade Edited by Joseph Nassise and Del Howison
Written by Joseph Nassise

“At last, the night has a hero.” That was the subtitle given to the short novel, “Cabal,” by horror fantasist Clive Barker when it was first published in 1988 and I have to admit, it’s pretty catchy. Rather cool, too, in some indefinable way. But then again, the whole book is like that.

“Cabal” was first published in 1988, as part of the sixth and final installment in Barker’s Books of Blood series in the United States and as a stand-alone edition in the United Kingdom. Two years later the story was adapted into the film, Nightbreed, written and directed by Clive himself. I discovered both the book and the film about the same time and began my love affair with the Tribes of the Moon.

The hero in question is a young man by the name of Aaron Boone. When the reader first meets him in the opening scenes of “Cabal,” he is being treated by a psychiatrist named Decker for an unspecified mental disorder. To Boone’s surprise and horror, he soon learns, through Decker, that he is responsible for the savage murders of eleven people. This is too much for him to bear and Boone tries to kill himself. When that simple act fails, he attempts to escape his fate by fleeing to the legendary city of Midian, the place “where the monsters dwell” in the wilds of Canada, a place he has been regularly seeing in his dreams for some time.

Boone sees himself as a monster, and he hopes to find sanctuary in Midian, among those he considers his own kind. What he doesn’t realize is that the so-called monsters don’t consider themselves to be monsters at all. In fact, they reserve that label for humanity, for what else would they call those who have hounded, hunted, and slaughtered them through the centuries?

This juxtaposition is part and parcel of what makes “Cabal” so intriguing. In Barker’s world there is beauty in the monstrous. There is darkness in the light. There is horror in the normal and the familiar. And he shows that to us without hesitation or subterfuge. Characters that are supposed to represent the good of society—the doctor, the cop, the priest—are all figures of darkness. The doctor, Decker, is the actual killer. His plan to escape the swift hand of justice by pinning the killings on Boone falls apart when the younger man flees. The officer of the law whom Decker enlists to track down Boone is an egomaniac concerned only with his own brand of justice. The priest, the supposed moral compass of the authorities, is nothing more than a hypocrite.

Boone, on the other hand, represents the opposite path. His conversion from human to Nightbreed to the savior known as Cabal takes him on a journey from the human to the monstrous. Far from being a figure of evil, however, he becomes the savior of the Tribes of the Moon, tasked with rebuilding the city of Midian and saving the breed from destruction by those with far less humanity than they.

The stories in Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed are all extensions of this theme. Co-editor Del Howison and I sought to pick up where Clive left off, to select stories that not only illustrated what happened to the Nightbreed after the destruction of their beloved city of Midian, but also asked the reader to look deeper, to see beyond the surface, and to handle their expectations with care.

In “Cabal,” the night had a hero and his name was Boone. In Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, the night has many heroes and they are never what you expect them to be.

Buy Midian Unmade today:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | Indiebound | Powell’s

Follow Joseph Nassise on Twitter at @Jnassise, on Facebook, or visit him online.

On the Road: Tor/Forge Author Events in August

The End of All Things by John ScalziChasing the Phoenix by Michael SwanwickHover by Anne A. Wilson

Tor/Forge authors are on the road in August! Once a month, we’re collecting info about all of our upcoming author events. Check and see who’ll be coming to a city near you:

Mindee Arnett, The Nightmare Charade

Tuesday, August 11
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Cincinnati, OH
7:00 PM

Wednesday, August 12
Books & Co
Beavercreek, OH
7:00 PM

Carrie Bebris, The Suspicion at Sanditon

Thursday, August 6
Murder by the Book
Houston, TX
6:30 PM

Saturday, August 8
Ann Arbor District Library
Also with Susanna Calkins, Anna Lee Huber, and Sam Thomas, hosted by Aunt Agatha’s.
Ann Arbor, MI
2:00 PM

Monday, August 17
Mystery One Bookshop
Milwaukee, WI
7:00 PM

Wednesday, August 19
Mystery to Me Books
Madison, WI
7:00 PM

R. S. Belcher, Nightwise

Saturday, August 22
Barnes & Noble
Roanoke, VA
1:00 PM

W. Bruce Cameron, The Dog Master

Thursday, August 20
Roscommon Area District Library
Books provided by Saturn Booksellers
Roscommon, MI
4:30 PM

Saturday, August 22
Horizon Books
Traverse City, MI
10:00 AM

Cathy Clamp, Forbidden

Saturday, August 22
Hastings Entertainment
Stephenville, TX
12:00 PM

Saturday, August 29
Barnes & Noble
Harker Heights, TX
12:00 PM

Tom Doyle, The Left-Hand Way

Saturday, August 8
Barnes & Noble
Hackensack, NJ
7:00 PM

Wednesday, August 26
Petworth Neighborhood Library
Washington, DC
7:00 PM

Carolyn Ives Gilman, Dark Orbit

Thursday, August 6
Politics and Prose
Washington, D.C.
7:00 PM

Saturday, August 8
Dreamhaven Books
Minneapolis, MN
2:00 PM

Neal Griffin, Benefit of the Doubt

Wednesday, August 26
The Reader’s Loft
Green Bay, WI
7:00 PM

Friday, August 28
Mystery to Me Books
Madison, WI
7:00 PM

Del Howison and Joseph Nassise, Midian Unmade

Saturday, August 1
Dark Delicacies
Burbank, CA
2:00 PM

Sunday, August 2
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
2:00 PM

Mary Pat Kelly, Of Irish Blood

Friday, August 14
Boswell Book Company
An Irish Fest Preview!
Milwaukee, WI
2:00 PM

 

Victor Milán, The Dinosaur Lords

Monday, August 3
Jean Cocteau Cinema
Santa Fe, NM
7:00 PM

Saturday, August 8
Page One Bookstore
With Melinda Snodgrass
Albuquerque, NM
4:00 PM

Wednesday, August 12
Mysterious Galaxy
With Melinda Snodgrass
San Diego, CA
7:30 PM

Tim Pratt, Pathfinder Tales: Liar’s Island

Tuesday, August 25
Copperfield’s Books
In conversation with Ross Lockhart
Petaluma, CA
7:00 PM

John Scalzi, The End of All Things

Tuesday, August 11
Booksellers at Laurelwood
Memphis, TN
6:30 PM

Wednesday, August 12
Quail Ridge Books and Music
Raleigh, NC
7:00 PM

Thursday, August 13
Avid Bookshop
Athens, GA
6:30 PM

Friday, August 14
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Lexington, KY
7:00 PM

Saturday, August 15
Barnes & Noble
Westlake, OH
2:00 PM

Sunday, August 16
Schuler Books and Music
Lansing, MI
4:00 PM

Monday, August 17
Madison Public Library
Books provided by A Room of One’s Own
Madison, WI
7:00 PM

Tuesday, August 18
Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
Beaverton, OR
7:00 PM

Wednesday, August 19
Seattle Public Library
Books provided by Elliott Bay Books
Seattle, WA
7:00 PM

Thursday, August 20
Boise Public Library
Books provided by Rediscovered Books
Boise, ID
7:00 PM

Sunday, August 23
Midtown Arts Center
Books provided by Old Firehouse Books
Fort Collins, CO
3:00 PM

Monday, August 24
Borderlands Cafe
San Francisco, CA
12:00 PM

Tuesday, August 25
The Last Bookstore
Los Angeles, CA
7:30 PM

Wednesday, August 26
Poisoned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
7:00 PM

Melinda Snodgrass, The Edge of Dawn

Saturday, August 8
Page One Bookstore
With Victor Milán
Albuquerque, NM
4:00 PM

Wednesday, August 12
Mysterious Galaxy
With Victor Milán
San Diego, CA
7:30 PM

Michael Swanwick, Chasing the Phoenix

Tuesday, August 11
Main Point Books
Bryn Mawr, PA
7:00 PM

Saturday, August 15
Quail Ridge Books
Raleigh, NC
7:00 PM

Sunday, August 16
Oak City Comic Show
North Raleigh Hilton
Wake Forest Road
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Monday, August 17
Flyleaf Books
Chapel Hill, NC
7:00 PM

Tuesday, August 18
Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe
Asheville, NC
7:00 PM

David Thurlo, Looking Through Darkness

Saturday, August 1
Bloomfield City Public Library
Bloomfield, NM
7:00 PM

Carrie Vaughn, Kitty Saves the World

Wednesday, August 5
Tattered Cover
East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO
7:00 PM

Jo Walton, The Philosopher Kings

Sunday, August 9
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA
3:00 PM

Monday, August 17
Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
Beaverton, OR
7:00 PM

Anne A. Wilson, Hover

Wednesday, August 12
RJ Julia Booksellers
Madison, CT
7:00 PM

Saturday, August 15
Midshipman Store
Annapolis, MD
10:00 AM

Sunday, August 16
Fountain Bookstore
Richmond, VA
2:00 PM

Monday, August 31
Warwick’s Books
San Diego, CA
7:00 PM

Tor Books Announces Programming for San Diego Comic-Con 2015

Tor30SDCC

Tor Books is heading to San Diego Comic-Con!

 

Once again Tor (Booth #2707) continues our wildly popular *in-booth signings and giveaways, offering you a chance to meet your favorite authors up close and personal and pick up free books. We’ve got a great line up including appearances by: Brandon Sanderson, Charlie Jane Anders, Susan Dennard, and more!

For excerpts, a spotlight on our newest authors, panel schedules, giveaway times and much more, please visit torbooks2015.com. And make sure to follow @TorBooks on Twitter for up to date information and last minute events.

Wednesday, July 8

Thursday, July 9

  • 1:00pm—2:00pm Resurgence of Science Fiction, Room 32AB
    Welcome to the promised land, oh geeks and nerds: your time has come. Star Wars is getting new movies, and so is Star Trek. Andy Weir’s The Martian and John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War are heading to the big and small screens and Mars One is looking for volunteers—Science Fiction and the draw of technology, futurism, space and the final frontier are hot on everyone’s mind. Come join Adam Christopher (Made To Kill), Margaret Stohl, Peter Clines, and others as they discuss this renaissance of SF and why now is an exciting time to live in, for both fiction and fact.
  • 2:30pm—3:00pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA06
  • 1:30pm—2:30pm Authors of Epic Fantasy, Room 24ABC
    How do you best describe stories of epic fantasy? Expansive worlds with long histories, huge casts of characters, political intrigue, massive battles, magic, legend, and much more… they are indeed epic! Join authors of fantasy fiction Peter Orullian (Trial of Intentions), Susan Dennard (Truthwitch), Peter Brett, and others as they discuss their own works, as well as other popular series that have made epic fantasy one of pop culture’s most successful genres.
  • 3:00pm—4:00pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 2:00pm Tor Booth (#2707) Signing: Greg Van Eekhout, Pacific Fire
  • 3:00pm—4:00pm Worldbuilding, Room 25ABC
    Fact: worlds are important. But how are they made? Join our panel of top authors as they describe how they set the stage for their stories and create a living universe for their characters. Moderated by Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky).
  • 4:30pm—5:30pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 4:00pm—5:00pm I’m Sleeping with the Lights On: Horror and Thriller Authors in Discussion, Room 25ABC
    Horror and thriller books have an amazing way of keeping readers up at night. From demons to zombies, and from historical to even seemingly mundane settings, certain authors can find bone-chilling ways to make sure the reader keep turning the pages. Join Robert Brockway (The Unnoticeables), Mary Kubica, Matthew Riley, and others as they discuss their books and what motivates them to scare you! Moderated by Del Howison (Midian Unmade), owner of the Dark Delicacies Bookstore.
  • 5:30pm—6:30pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09

Friday, July 10

  • 11:30am—12:30pm Gender in Science Fiction, Room 24ABC
    Pizza rolls, not gender roles! From the strong female protagonist to the battle of the sexes, Science Fiction has long given us the ability to challenge the way we think about traditional gender roles. Come listen to Maryelizbeth Yturralde, owner of the bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, lead acclaimed authors such as Wes Chu (Time Salvager), Nick Cole, and more in a discussion about the importance of gender in Science Fiction, how Science Fiction novels open our minds to non-traditional ideas, and just what is the difference between gender and sex.
  • 1:00pm—2:00pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 12:00pm—1:00pm Autographing Area, Table AA18 Signing: Luis Royo, The Ice Dragon
  • 2:00pm Tor Booth (#2707) Signing: Brandon Sanderson In-booth sales by Mysterious Galaxy

Saturday, July 11th

  • 12:00pm—1:00pm Family Feud: Sci-Fi vs. Fantasy, Room 7AB
    Calling all Nerds! Since the dawn of time we have argued and contemplated crucial matters: What’s cooler? Who would win in a fight? Who would lose? Star Trek or Star Wars? Ironman or Captain America? Now, in an open forum, join us as other diehard Nerds and geek experts—including Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn series), Chuck Palahniuk, Ernie Cline, and others—prove their mettle by squaring off into furious debates about the hottest topics in geek culture.
  • 1:30pm—2:30pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 4:00pm—5:00pm Epic Fantasy, Room 29AB
    Learn about fantasy literature and book-to-movie adaptations from New York Times bestselling authors Heather Brewer, Jonathan Maberry, Kami Garcia, Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn series) and Maggie Stiefvater. Moderated by Henry Herz.
  • 5:00pm Tor Booth (#2707) Signing: Adam Christopher, Made to Kill

Sunday, July 12

All Tor Booth signings are on a first come first serve basis and while supplies lasts. Limit one book per person.

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