Steve Rasnic Tem’s Deadfall Hotel has been keenly anticipated by weird fiction geeks for more than two decades, ever since horror icon Charles L. Grant published the story “Bloodwolf” in his anthology Shadows 9 (1986). Tem, a winner of the World Fantasy Award and British Fantasy Award, noted that the story was the seed for a much longer work — which has been published this month as a mass market paperback from Solaris. WFR is proud to present an extended excerpt from the novel entitled “The King of the Cats”:
What is the novel about? Think of it as the vacation resort of the collective unconscious. The Deadfall Hotel is where our nightmares go, it’s where the dead pause to rest between worlds, and it’s where Richard Carter and his daughter Serenago to rediscover life — if the things at the hotel don’t kill them first.
With the powerful prose that has earned him awards and accolades, Steve Rasnic Tem explores the roots of fear and society’s fascination with things horrific, using the many-layered metaphor of the Deadfall Hotel. Drawing inspiration from literary touchstones John Gardner and Peter Straub, Tem elegantly delves into the dark corners of the human spirit. There he finds not only our fears, but ultimately our hopes.
“And death shall have no dominion,” at least that was his hope, that Dylan Thomas who drank and sang and insulted and roared and made immortal poetry. We write, we sing, we have our children and have our way, all in an attempt to defeat that fatal king. Perhaps the famous succeed – I can’t really say. But certainly it isn’t their true selves the people remember, but rather the great and interesting lies they told about themselves. And whose children remember them as they really were? Your children remember you too harshly, too well, or seemingly not at all.