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Dark Awakenings


Over 300 pages of supernatural horror fiction and academic nonfiction exploring the boundary between religion, horror, and spirituality. Available at Amazon and other online booksellers, plus your local bookstore.

"Life is a horror for which there is neither remedy nor release in the seven metaphysical terror tales that make up the bulk of Cardin's provocative second collection (after Divinations of the Deep)....Cardin's tales are rich with references to Lovecraft, Nietzsche, and other writers whose work gives them unusual philosophic depth. This thinking-man's book of the macabre is capped by three essays, all of which speak eloquently to the supernatural themes of the stories." – Publishers Weekly

NEWS - Updated March 6, 2013

1) Forthcoming book: To Rouse Leviathan

My third full-length book (not counting the ebook A Course in Demonic Creativity, still available for free at Demon Muse) will be published in 2013 by Hippocampus Press. To Rouse Leviathan will be an omnibus collection featuring the complete fiction contents of my first two books plus a section of previously uncollected stories. Here's the table of contents:

DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP -- "An Abhorrence to All Flesh," "Notes of a Mad Copyist," "The Basement Theatre," "If It Had Eyes," "Judas of the Infinite"

DARK AWAKENINGS -- "Teeth," "The Stars Shine Without Me," "Desert Places," "Blackbrain Dwarf," "Nightmares, Imported and Domestic" (written with Mark McLaughlin), "The Devil and One Lump," "The God of Foulness"

APOCRYPHON -- "Chimeras & Grotesqueries: An Unfinished Fragment of Daemonic Derangement," "Prometheus Possessed," "A Cherished Place at the Center of His Plans" (written with Mark McLaughlin), "The New Pauline Corpus"

A couple of the stories will appear in substantially (drastically) revised and expanded form. Stay tuned for an announcement about a formal publication date. Additionally, this book is likely to be followed in the future by a separate book, also from Hippocampus Press, collecting many of my nonfiction writings on horror, religion, psychology, sleep paralysis, gothic literature, and the like.

2) A mummy encyclopedia

I'm presently editing a book about mummies for academic publisher ABC-CLIO. (Previously, I contributed to their Icons of Horror and the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of Our Worst Nightmares and Encyclopedia of the Vampire.) The working title is Mummies around the World: An Encyclopedia of Mummies in History, Religion, and Popular Culture. More details will be forthcoming.

3) A story in The Starry Wisdom Library

I’ll have a story -- or actually it's an essay of sorts; read on -- in the forthcoming anthology The Starry Wisdom Library that’s being edited by rare book expert Nate Pedersen for PS Publishing. Nate’s rather brilliant conceit for the project is to frame the book as a facsimile reproduction of the original 1877 "lost" auction catalogue for the library of occult books that Lovecraft described as residing in the abandoned Church of Starry Wisdom in "The Haunter of the Dark." Each "story" is written in the form of a scholarly description of, and essay on, one of these fictitious texts. I wrote about the Daemonolorum, a tome of "nightmare arcana" invented by Robert Bloch for one of his stories. The book will be out in 2013 or 2014 and will feature an introduction by S. T. Joshi. I'm very pleased to be aboard; the list of contributors is an astonishing "who's who" roster of weird horror and Lovecraftian writers.

4) Essay at Dream Studies

Dark Faith: InvocationsLast Halloween my essay "Nexus of Nightmares: Fuseli, Sleep Paralysis, and Horror's Master Image" was published at Dream Studies, dream researcher Ryan Hurd's thoroughly excellent Website about dream science, nightmares, and related altered states of consciousness. The piece describes my long-in-coming recognition about a very famous painting (you know the one) and the way it has come to serve as a transformative nexus of dark meanings enfolding a vast span of unsettling subjects. Readers of my Liminalities column at The Teeming Brain will find the article an extension of some of its major themes. Likewise for readers of my horror fiction.

5) New column for [Nameless] Magazine

Last December I became a columnist for Nameless, the "Biannual Journal of the Macabre, Esoteric and Intellectual" edited by Jason V. Brock and S. T. Joshi. The column is titled Numinosities, and the first installment is titled "Things That Should Not Be: The Uncanny Convergence of Religion and Horror," with a focus on the perennial entanglement of religion with horror in such a way that each automatically implies and entails the other.

6) New interviews

Last September, my friend and fellow horror author T. E. Grau interviewed me for his blog, The Cosmicomicon, and the conversation ended up turning into the single most detailed examination of my life, influences, writing, and philosophical-spiritual reflections that I've yet given during the past several years of granting occasional interviews. I talked about horror, religion, Lovecraft, sleep paralysis, fantasy, science fiction, consciousness, creativity, reality, the dystopian hazards of an uber-online lifestyle, and more.

Three weeks later I was the featured guest on the October 14 edition of the Expanding Mind radio show, which is devoted to exploring "the cultures of consciousness." I've been a fan of the show for some time, and have long enjoyed host Erik Davis's writings on culture, technology, gnosis, horror, science fiction, and related subjects. My hour-long conversation with him and his cohost Maja D'Aoust delved into the deep psychological, philosophical, and spiritual underpinnings of the dark side of religious experience and explored the implications of the fact that this aspect of religion, which is so foreign to modern, mainstream Western ideas about religion's nature and function, actually stands at the very center of what it has always been about for people around the world and throughout history. The episode is titled "Daemonic Creativity," indicating another subject that we explored at some length.

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"Cardin's tales are rich with references to Lovecraft, Nietzsche, and other writers whose work gives them unusual philosophic depth. [Dark Awakenings is a] thinking-man's book of the macabre." – Publishers Weekly

"Cardin ranks among the foremost authors of contemporary American horror." – Laird Barron, author of The Imago Sequence & Other Stories

Divinations of the Deep"It’s a bold writer who, in this day and age, tries to make modern horror fiction out of theology, but Cardin pulls it off.” – Darrell Schweitzer, editor, critic, author of Living with the Dead

"Matt Cardin's horror stories are the real thing: works that are committed to exploring what is irremediably strange and terrible in human existence." – Thomas Ligotti, author of Teatro Grottesco and The Nightmare Factory

"Matt Cardin is the most underrated horror writer in America." – Tim Lebbon, author of Hush and 30 Days of Night (novelization)




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