Edgar Allan Poe wrote The Masque of the Red Death nearly 180 years ago, yet its narrative and characters continue to mystify and captivate. The short story is driven by Prince Prospero's attempt to evade the "Red Death" a fatal plague infecting his kingdom, by hiding in his abbey, where he indulges in pleasures and delights with other nobles. He soon finds out that no one can escape their end.
Steven Archer has recast the characters of The Masque and illuminated the narrative in a novel and perhaps more visceral light, that remains true to the raw darkness and decadence of the tale. His modern take on the classic story brings it into our new infected world. Perhaps it was prescience that drove him to create the illustrations in 2018 only to have them see the plague-filled light of day in 2020. Even now in our enlightened and modern world, "Darkness and Decay and the Red Death holds illimitable dominion over all."
With a foreword by John Langan (The Wide Carnivorous Sky), this is an immersive visual feast that breathes new life into this classic memento mori tale of disease, decadence, and inevitable mortality.
"Steven Archer is an inspiring artist of great talent and skill."-Neil Gaiman, New York Times Best Selling Author of American Gods
"Ravishing illustrations, seductive and scarlet; a hideous bit of morbidity: exactly what I look for every time I look. Archer is on fire here. A classic reborn."-Josh Malerman, New York Times Best Selling Author of Bird Box and Malorie
"Beautiful horrors! Archer's expressionist ironies breath new life into Poe's schoolbook tale. It's like experiencing a plague for the very first time!"-Nick Mamatas, author of Move Under Ground and Sabbath
"I can think of no better combination than Poe and Archer. A vibrant, temporal, visceral re-imagining. To die for." -Lee Murray, author of Grotesque: Monster Stories
"This is The Masque of the Red Death for our times. Faithful to Poe's vision, Archer's artwork expands and enriches the text with surreal elements of lust and debauchery only hinted at in the original. Thanks to Archer, 'Darkness and Decay and the Red Death will continue to hold illimitable dominion over all.'"- Chris Semtner, Curator Edgar Allan Poe Museum
"Steven Archer's style has the perfect sense of dreamlike chaos for The Masque of the Red Death. A refreshing take on a tale that in many ways is very relevant for the world today."-Abigail Larson, Artist, DC/ Dark Horse
|Publisher:||Raw Dog Screaming Press|
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.19(d)|
About the Author
Creator of the modern detective story, innovative architect of the horror genre, and a poet of extraordinary musicality, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) remains one of America’s most popular and influential writers. His books of collected tales and poems brim with psychological depth, almost painful intensity, and unexpected — and surprisingly modern — flashes of dark humor and irony.