Joel always intended to collect these essays in a book to be entitled This Spectacular Darkness, a quotation from the poet Edwin Morgan, whose work he admired. This cannot be that book: but it brings together all the essays he was able to write in the series.
Joel writes in his essay, ‘This Spectacular Darkness’, ‘. . . it was essential to ask new questions about human nature and our place in the world. Horror fiction was . . . an attempt to generate new myths—or a new kind of imagination—that could deal with . . . new realities.’ And few have understood and explored these new myths and realities with the deep understanding that he goes on to demonstrate.
Also collected here are essays Joel wrote for other publications, including studies of Ramsey Campbell, Robert Bloch and Nyarlathotep. The volume is completed by appreciations of Joel’s essays, poetry, short stories and novels.