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INTERVIEWS

Matt Cardin: Life and Mind of a Teeming Brain, May 28, 2014, Cloudy Sky.

Daemonic Creativity, Expanding Mind (radio show), October 14, 2012. "Sleep paralysis, horror fiction, and the dark side of religious experience. A numinous talk with fiction writer and essayist Matt Cardin, author of Dark Awakenings."

Matt Cardin Unleashes His Teeming Brain, September 30, 2012, The Cosmicomicon.

Matt Cardin: Dark Awakenings, February 19, 2012, Rewiring Your Brain (Internet radio show).

Creativity, Reality, and Encounters with the Inner Genius, November 25, 2011, Rewiring Your Brain (Internet radio show).

Discarnate Dark Entities, October 11, 2011, Darkness Radio.

The Intersection of Horror and Religion, September 6, 2011, Genre Traveler (podcast).

Meet the Author: Matt Cardin, July 6, 2010, Dystopia Press.

Interview with Matt Cardin: Dark Awakenings and Cosmic Horror, March 3, 2010. Lovecraft News Network.

Matt Cardin: Gods and Monsters, Worms and Fire: A Horrific Reading of Isaiah, February 17, 2010. TheoFantastique.

Matt Cardin: Spirituality in Romero's Living Dead Films, December 3, 2009. TheoFantastique.

Thomas Ligotti Online, October 2008.

Live chat at The Lost and the Damned (R.I.P.), November 2006.

Whispers of Wickedness (R.I.P.), January 2006. Reprinted from Terror Tales, March 2004.

REVIEWS and BLURBS

Dark Awakenings (2010)

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. (May)
Publishers Weekly, March 28, 2011

"Dark Awakenings offers generous heapings of fiction and 'dark theology': there are seven high quality Weird Tales (in the proper sense of that phrase, as many of them are eldritch stories, directly or indirectly related to the Cthulhu Mythos) and three artful, multi-part works of literary criticism on the diverse religious and philosophical elements of supernatural tales (from the Bible to Romero films)....One might presume that a book should only come at you with one approach -- i.e., that a reader can only hold a work of fiction, or one of non-fiction, in their hands at once. And it's true that many lesser writers might produce something schizoid if they attempted this dual approach to dread. But the exact opposite is true in Cardin's case: these two genres of writing inform each other in an interesting way, so that by the time you finish the stories and turn to the criticism, you are eager to learn more about the writer's worldview; and when you get to the end, you've learned so much more that you want to turn right back to the beginning and start reading the fiction all over again. And it does reward a second read: Cardin is deft at writing in both genres, because he writes with such a centered focus."
— Mike Arnzen, "Philosophies of Horror: Matt Cardin and Thomas Ligotti," Gorelets, October 20, 2010

"As authors of supernatural Horror go, few today equal Matt Cardin. His grasp of characterizations is deft, his pacing sure-footed. But perhaps Matt's most enviable quality is his ability to seamlessly smudge deep philosophical principles into his narratives without coming off as didactic. 'Teeth,' 'The Stars Shine Without Me' and in particular his novella 'The God of Foulness' truly exhibit this talent. Cardin makes a reader ponder the nature of reality, yet at a turn he can summon images of startling terror, visions that unnerved this Horror author more than once."
Richard Gavin, September 7, 2010

"This is intellectual, introspective, shamanistic horror. The black things crawl through the psychic ditches of our world but in Cardin's writing they are tethered more concretely to a sense of humanity. This is, in part, due to the scholarly inclusion of religion that he weaves through his tales. Let me be clear, these are not religious stories in any sense that would lead readers of this site to be apprehensive. The stories here incorporate undiscussed elements of religion that illustrate both a connection to something bigger and a reminder of the dark things hidden in the heavy language of gods."
Scott Candey, October 1, 2010

"Cardin, like Ligotti and H.P. Lovecraft, is a malevolent universe fearing author....To him, the working world, academia, suburban life, and our very bodies and minds seem to neighbor some exceptionally dark places....On the whole, Dark Awakenings shows that Cardin has fully conquered the short form in fiendishly interesting ways....[It] is a shadow delicacy, with an unconventional makeup that will satisfy the mind's literary and intellectual cravings."
Grim Reviews, October 31, 2010

"In Dark Awakenings, Cardin proves himself to be an adept in the fullest sense of the word. To both the morbid and the cosmically minded, who may be one and the same, he delivers his visions and nightmares in a master's prose. In the tradition of Poe and Lovecraft, Cardin's accomplishments as a writer are paralleled by his expertise as a literary critic and theorist, as readers can witness in this volume. His analyses of supernatural horror and its practitioners are also dark awakenings in the dual manner of his stories, with one eye on the black abyss and the other on an enlightened transcendence without denomination. Again, this quality of Cardin's work can be seen in the writings of Poe and Lovecraft, two other felicitous freaks who merged the antagonistisms of their imagination into a chimera as awful as it is awe-striking."
— Thomas Ligotti, author of Teatro Grottesco and The Nightmare Factory

"Matt Cardin channels visions of dark, maniacal intensity. His otherworldly divinations will have you lying awake in the dark, counting stars in that most pitiless gulf that yawns above us all. A master of terror and dread, he ranks among the foremost authors of contemporary American horror."
— Laird Barron, author of The Imago Sequence & Other Stories

"Dark Awakenings offers the dream imagery of the best weird fiction but goes even further beyond the ordinary thanks to Matt Cardin's fierce intellect. Haunting stories and insightful essays. This is mandatory reading to prepare for the doom to come."
— Nick Mamatas, author of Move Under Ground

"In a wonderfully readable, multi-layered collection, Matt Cardin shows us that he knows, as very few do, how to write -- from several perspectives, including as a researcher -- in a way that is both riveting and richly detailed. Cardin's gift can be celebrated by all readers."
— T.M. Wright, author of Bone Soup and A Manhattan Ghost Story

Divinations of the Deep (2002)

"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. Like most heretics, he may be wrong in the eyes of the Church, but he can cite texts: lots of scary Old Testament passages that suggest a gnostic mystery underlying perceived reality. What was the 'face of the deep' upon which there was darkness, before the first act of Creation? Was God's act one of pushing back or containing a primal Chaos older and vaster than Himself? Cardin manages to turn this into a vision of terrifying, Lovecraftian nihilism. No mean feat, that."
— Darrell Schweitzer, writing for Fresh Blood

"This collection was everything I'd hoped it would be, and that doesn't happen often . . . . Like Lovecraft and Ligotti, Cardin excels in creating a truly terrifying atmosphere of dread and decay by revealing what may lurk just beyond our view of reality. Few people succeed in this, but Matt does it with aplomb. His prose is intelligent and poetic, his execution, effortless. I believe this collection will become a classic of weird fiction."
— Durant Haire for Feoamante.com

"[In Divinations of the Deep], Cardin massages the dark and hidden, and penetrates the ancient deep to fashion unique visions of horror and deity. Each piece has its own depth and unwavering regard to the theme. The settings are universally dark, murky, and decadent, putting you in mind of Poe especially, but also some of the more depressed turn-of-the-(20th)Century writers. In each of these stories, the author personalizes the apocalyptic question of ultimate power and order. It is a fascinating approach."
Cemetery Dance

"Matt Cardin's tales are imbued with a sense of cosmic dread reminiscent of Jean Ray or Thomas Ligotti. Divinations of the Deep is a notable addition to any library of horror or surrealism."
— John Pelan, editor of The Century's Best Horror Fiction

"Oh, this is truly marvellous stuff . . . . Matt Cardin's wonderful conceit that Religion is the deterrent for whatever that Religion worships . . . . This whole book is Fiction-as-Religion in action. It is truer than truth."
— "Real-time review" by D.F. Lewis, author of Weirdmonger, editor of Nemonymous

"Nightmares, Imported and Domestic" in The HWA Presents: Dark Arts (2006)

"Matt Cardin and Mark McLaughlin team to produce the sophisticated and thought-provoking 'Nightmares, imported and domestic', in which a painter has black-and-white dreams of another self, living a different life. The boundaries between the two existences become increasingly thin, to the point of merging in a single, tragic reality. This remarkable piece of work, possibly the best in the book, brings in echoes of Kafka and Dostoyevsky, overcoming the limits of genre fiction."
— Mario Guslandi, writing for The Agony Column

"Matt Cardin and Mark McLaughlin close the book with 'Nightmares, Imported and Domestic,' a cleverly inverted story about an artist whose dreams of an alternate life in a depressingly bleak and ordinary world begin to overwhelm his waking hours . . . . A fine tale."
Publishers Weekly

"Teeth" in The Children of Cthulhu (2002)

"Matt Cardin's 'Teeth' manages to affectively capture Lovecraft's sense of cosmic horror, working Lovecraftian themes and tropes in with Nietzschean philosophy. The bitter loneliness and nihilism of the story cast a pall over the rest of the day that I read it (and began this review). I don't come across stories that make a difference in my mood very often, so I consider this one fairly special."
John Goodrich, writing for Raw, New Things

"'Teeth' by Matt Cardin has a riveting if over-the-top conclusion.   Lovecraft often wrote about the 'terrifying vistas' that would appear as the sciences pooled their data, discovering a mechanistic, uncaring universe ready to swallow mankind in a single gulp.  This tale describes the consequences of just such a weird revelation.  Surely madness and death will pursue those who pursue absolute knowledge.   Cardin alludes to those who see Lovecraft's fiction as thinly veiled truth about the world.   Perhaps they are right.  How much do we really know about the universe or even ourselves.  We may well be swallowed up by some pan-galactic monstrosity without so much as a peep."
Necropsy: The Review of Horror Fiction

 

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