Rockhampton's master of horror has unleased a fresh terror on an unsuspecting world.
The Noctuary: Pandemonium is local author Greg Chapman's seventh book and second full-length novel.
It's the follow-up to The Noctuary, which grew out of Chapman's mentorship with the Australian Horror Writers Association. It remains Chapman's most popular book to date, which inspired him to tackle a sequel.
But rather than a straight continuation of the original tale of time- and reality-manipulating horrors, Pandemonium picks up the whole Noctuary universe and twists it further.
The narrator has changed for the new installment, from the writer who was our guide to The Noctuary to a psychologist investigating the original text to see if it's just the imaginings of a man claimed by his own demons – or something more tangible and dangerous.
“Where does evil come from?” asks Greg, “is it outside of us, or is it in our heads?”
The Noctuary: Pandemonium is freshly released, but already named one of The Horror Fiction Review's top reads of 2017.
If you could change the past...
Greg says there's more to his work than blood and gore.
“There has to be some context,” he says, “and a balancing of supernatural horrors with real ones.”
While there is a strong Australian fantasy and speculative fiction scene, Greg says he's had his biggest breakthroughs in the US horror market.
“Over in the States there are lots of different small presses, it's really healthy.
“I happened to submit to the right publisher at the right time.”
Since The Noctuary came out seven years ago the original publisher has gone out of business, and the rights to the original book reverted to Greg. The new publisher, Bloodshot Books, has bundled both together for this new release – so when you buy The Noctuary: Pandemonium, you'll get the original as well.
Greg says he's not sure if he's finished with the Noctuary universe – or if it's finished with him.
“The beauty of the mythology is these creatures have used other writers in the past, so there is potential."
"They've had hands in our history throughout time."
Also coming up this year, Greg has a piece due for publication in US magazine Cemetery Dance, dedicated to works of dark fiction, horror and mystery. His piece for the mag was inspired by an article about the world running out of room to bury the dead, and imagines a future where families open up their suburban backyards to burials. It's fantasy but with a firm anchor in reality, and explores some of the very different funerary customs of different cultures.
Greg Chapman's The Noctuary: Pandemonium (Bloodshot Books, 2017) is now available in paperbook and digital.