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Herald of the Hidden
What is the secret of the house of days? Who are the shadowy figures gathered along an old green road? What is the winged thing seen flitting from an ancient church?
Herald of the Hidden collects ten adventures of the occult detective Ralph Tyler, inspired by William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki the Ghost-Finder, Algernon Blackwood’s John Silence, and Arthur Machen’s Mr Dyson of The Three Impostors.
But Ralph Tyler is different. He is without private means, or any special esoteric knowledge. Sometimes he doesn’t play fair with his clients or his friend, the narrator. He smokes foul cigarettes, slumps in his chair, and wears a threadbare jacket. And he’s from an obscure shire in the darkest heart of England . . .
Mark Valentine’s Ralph Tyler stories first appeared in hard-to-find small press publications. Three of the stories in this volume are previously unpublished, including two newly written for this collection. Along with six further supernatural tales, all the stories are previously uncollected in book form.
Contents: ‘Introduction’. Ralph Tyler Stories: ‘St Michael & All Angels’, ‘The Folly’, ‘Madberry Hill’, ‘The Ash Track’, ‘The Grave of Anir’, ‘William Sorrell Requests’, ‘The Hermit’s House’, ‘Herald of the Hidden’, ‘Heritage of Fire’, ‘The Almanac’. Other Early Stories: ‘The Guardians of the Guest Room’, ‘Go to the West’, ‘Tree Worship’, ‘Twilight at Little Brydon Cricket Club’, ‘Woken by Candlelight’, ‘Their Special Glee’. ‘Acknowledgements.’
'Among the current weird and supernatural fiction authors, Mark Valentine has established a position as one of the most original and interesting. He rarely if ever sets out to horrify, but rather to awe and mystify, even to inspire; an aim he usually succeeds in achieving.... Herald of the Hidden and Other Stories is a typically classy Tartarus hardback: at £35 it's not cheap, but worth every penny, in my opinion.' Rosemary Pardoe, Ghosts and Scholars, 24
'Valentine never puts a foot wrong...' Mark Andresen, The Pan Review
'All these stories were collected at the suggestion of the legendary editor Richard Dalby, who selected many of them for his famous collections. It was a good idea.' David Longhorn, Supernatural Tales
'...for those who appreciate a traditional ghost story well-told, this volume can sit proudly on your bookshelf beside the greats.' Stewart Horn, British Fantasy Society
'Readers who enjoy the new brand of "urban fantasy" will find here the top-notch, classy, but down-and-dirty detective noir version.' Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column