FUGUE DEVIL: Resurgence
A 30th Anniversary of the Celebration of The Fugue Devil
By Stephen Mark Rainey
Reviewed by Carson Buckingham
This collection from Stephen Mark Rainey is among the best ones I’ve read. Each story is a shining gem and if you enjoy Lovecraftian horror, there is much that will please you here. This book is labeled “30th Anniversary” not because all of the stories are 30 years old, but because the main monster, the Fugue Devil, is. But there are monsters aplenty in this book.
The concept of the titular character is culled directly from Rainey’s nightmares as a boy, and upon reading this fact, my heart broke and bled for the child who experienced this hideous night terror.
Rainey tells the stories in this collection from Beckham, Virginia, and the surrounding areas—real places. As a matter of fact, he still lives in his grandfather’s old home next to the “Fugue Devil Woods,” as he calls them. It is in this house that he had his initial night terrors, and even now, he still gets a little shiver when he looks at the woods at night.
The first story, “Fugue Devil,” and the last story, “The Devil’s Eye,” bookend the collection nicely, with the reappearance of the same monster whose strength, like Dracula, is that people refuse to believe in it until it is too late. A masterful handling.
“Threnody” is a story about a grandson’s inadvertent summoning of something fearful, finishing what his grandfather began many years ago. It is the second story of “The Fugue Devil” three. I would advise the reader to read these three in order, then go back and read the others.
I loved all these stories, but for me, standouts, besides the three already mentioned, are:
“Short Wave”—kids trying to pick up Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon end up tapping into something a whole lot more earthshaking.
“Masque of the Queen”—an actress, desperate for a role, is cast in an odd stage production of The King in Yellow. The dreamlike quality in this is nothing short of genius.
“Somewhere, My Love”—a departure from the horrific monster theme, this is about a music teacher who can draw amazing things musically from her pupils…especially one.
5 stars—Highly recommended.
Buy one for yourself and one for a friend.