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The Book of the Black Sun
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ISBN-10: 1-89484-151-4
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Supernatural/Horror
eBook Length: 221 Pages
Published: June 2002
OUT OF PRINT

From inside the flap

The Book of the Black Sun is thirty-two Lovecraftian stories arranged in eight clusters of four stories: a micro story, a flash piece, a short story and a longer short story. Each cluster is named after a chapter in the Book of the Black Sun. References to the Cthulhu Mythos, strange mandalas, spinning eldritch gates and other themes are woven throughout the book so that the reader learns more about the mythology of the Black Sun as they read along. The final result is a creepy, self-referential mandala in itself.



The Book of the Black Sun (Excerpt)


THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING


'I won't make a Nation' he says 'I'll make an Empire!'

-- Rudyard Kipling



Harvey Beckford had one dream: he wanted to be King. Not king of a country or any of that hereditary ruler nonsense -- he wanted to be King of the Bookstore Shelves. In short, he was The Man Who Would Be Stephen King.

Harvey's literary career started, like his idol's, in school. His first attempts at fiction were inept, confused and barren. At the age of fifteen, this was acceptable. It was only after twenty years of the same, that friends and family concluded Harvey would never cut it in the Slush-Pile Jungle.

Beckford himself came to this conclusion on the receipt of his one thousandth rejection slip. He fingered the impersonal bit of paper and recalled that he was now thirty-five -- fifteen years behind schedule. He had failed to sell his first story at age twenty as King had done with "The Glass Floor". To make matters worse, eight years previously, Harvey had not been successful in publishing his first novel at twenty-seven (for King it had been Carrie.) But Beckford always looked to the future. Just one more submission -- just one more story.

But there was no denying it any longer. He wasn't going to find success by the usual methods of submission and rejection. Now he realized the name of Harvey Beckford had never been meant to grace the cover of a mass-produced paperback. And it was fortunate for Harvey that he had a second plan.

Leaving the millennial rejection slip on the kitchen table he went up to the attic of his old family house. He was proud of the rambling structure with its gambrel roof and columned facade. The estate had once belonged to his great-grandfather, Old Wizard Beckford, the Scourge of Bangor, Maine. The house was only fifteen blocks from the winter residence of a certain best-selling writer.

In the attic, Beckford sorted through piles of boxes, some from the Depression era of the '30s, others dating back as far as 1840. These older cartons were marked Arkham, MA. It was amongst these he found the books. Harvey had little doubt that the crumbling old tomes had remained untouched since the time of his unusual progenitor, Old Wizard Beckford. Dusting them lovingly, he recalled the circumstances under which he had found the elder tomes. While hunting a rat, Harvey had knocked over several cardboard boxes to reveal the wooden ones beneath.

Having cleaned them off, the writer took a moment, as he had that first time, to study their archaic and fascinating titles. There was von Junzt's Unnamable Cults, the Book of the Black Sun by Garius d?Toma and another by a French Count. But the prize of the lot was an immense black-leather volume with gold lock and clasps, called The Necronomicon.

It was in this treatise, after a lengthy dissertation on some beings called The Great Old Ones, that Harvey found his second plan. It was a short spell used by witches to take over the bodies of others. This suited Beckford's purposes well. If he couldn't be another Stephen King, he would be THE Stephen King!

Six weeks after receiving the decisive rejection slip, Harvey was almost ready. He knew the bizarre words from Alhazred's book by heart. All he had to do was say them in the presence of the intended victim -- and he would be King. In addition to the spell, he re-read his well-thumbed copies of Winter's Stephen King: The Art of Darkness and Underwood & Miller's Fear Itself. These sources would be essential after the transference was complete. Harvey would have to know everything if he was going to fool Tabitha, King's wife, and the kids.

Putting that thought aside, Harvey looked over the notes he had compiled over the last few weeks of spying on the New England author. He knew all the bars the man frequented -- the supermarket -- the book stores -- the libraries -- the movie theatres. Then there were the graveyards, abandoned houses, lots, churches where King reportedly sought his inspirations.

It was only then as Beckford poured over his copious notes that he found the final piece of Plan B. The paper with his scrawled handwriting read: "Saw King visit Blackwood Cemetery/grave of grandmother." The note was dated Friday, October 6th. A week later he returned and the week after that. For six weeks consecutively King visited, always on a Friday.

It was the opportunity Harvey needed! King would be there this Friday, alone -- he always went alone. The sheer luck of the realization overshadowed any fears that lurked in the back of Beckford's mind. But why would a man visit the grave of his maternal granddame so regularly? he wondered. Was this not the same relative King had found dead when he was eleven years old? Yes, but what of the matter, other than that he wrote about it in short story called "Gramma"? Beckford didn't know -- he didn't really care. The following Friday, everything would come to an end. He would become Stephen King. If the price of that goal was a weekly visit to the cemetery -- so be it!

Read the conclusion in The Book of the Black Sun