A NOVEL by T.E.D. Klein
PUBLICATION DATE June 2016
COVER ART, ENDPAPERS & SLIPCASE ART Anne Sudworth
200 signed by T.E.D. Klein in an illustrated slipcase — ISBN 978-1-848639-92-8 [£50]
He stopped, look back, and saw it—the monstrous black thing staring at him from the tree . . .
This summer sees the long-anticipated re-issue of The Ceremonies, a celebrated masterpiece from a generation ago, now fully corrected by its author. Chalking up the British Fantasy Award for Best First Novel on its original publication back in 1984, The Ceremonies was hailed by Stephen King as the best horror novel since Peter Straub’s Ghost Story. It is now included in Horror: 100 Best Books.
From the terrifying vision of its opening scene to the breathtaking horror of its climax, The Ceremonies turns our familiar world into a place of malevolent intrigue and ominous design. In the grip of an extraordinary writer, it plumbs the darkest underpinnings of ancient myth and folklore to reveal an undying evil.
For graduate student Jeremy Freirs, citified, cynical, yet prone to daydreams, summer is the time to shed a few pounds and finally get some reading done for a course on gothic literature. He's picked just the right place: the small, secluded village of Gilead, New Jersey, only ninety minutes from Manhattan but, with its antique customs and clannish traditions, seemingly centuries away. For farmers Sarr and Deborah Poroth, young members of Gilead's fundamentalist community, the summer threatens a conflict between their passionate natures and the stern dictates of their faith. For Sarr's widowed mother, gifted with second sight, it promises the frightful awakening she's dreaded all her life. And for aspiring dancer Carol Conklin, a naive country girl struggling to survive in the city, it brings not only the first blush of romance but a lucky job with a kindly-looking old man known as Mr. Rosebottom.
But "Rosie," as he calls himself, bears a more sinister name—the Old One—and a far more terrifying secret. Though the signs are all about them, he alone knows the invisible design that rules these people's lives as they dance unwittingly toward doom: for in the heat of summer an ancient corruption is stirring, an evil rooted not far from the Poroth farm, yet reaching to the city and beyond. The time has come for the Ceremonies, the monstrous rites that will unleash on a despised creation an age-old promise of apocalypse. And to see the scheme unfold, like some deadly flower, is to watch a nightmare come to life.
T.E.D.KLEIN has published very few works, but they have all achieved positive notice for their meticulous construction and subtle use of horror. Indeed, his ‘Nadelman's God’ won the 1986 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella.
S.T.Joshi, editor of the Black Wings anthology series and author of the two-volume study of horror fiction Unutterable Horror, all for PS) writes, "In close to 25 years of writing Klein has only two books and a handful of scattered tales to his credit, and yet his achievement towers gigantically over that of his more prolific contemporaries."
Klein was the editor of Twilight Zone magazine from its inception in 1981 until 1985,and served as editor of the short-lived true crime magazine CrimeBeat from 1991 to 1993. He has blamed his limited output of fiction on writer’s block. He revealed in Faces of Fear (1985) that he struggled with The Ceremonies for more than five years before finally finishing it. “I'm one of those people,” he says, “who will do anything to avoid writing. Anything!”