by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
Foreword by Michael Cisco
Publication Date: 19th Oct, 2011
Paperback, 376 pages
Cardigan is heading east through the night-bleak cities of America and back to confront the past he has never escaped, as a resident of Zimms, an orphanage-cum-asylum and a true palace of dementia, presided over by the ‘Chaos Lord’, Dr. Archer. His odyssey is one of haunting flashbacks and disorientating encounters on the road as he leaves a trail of fire and destruction behind him. In the circles and dead-ends that make the maze of his madness, Cardigan meets bounty hunters, ghosts, ghouls, a talking rat, even a merman, and struggles to decide which will lead him to damnation and which to salvation.
With The Orphan Palace, Joseph S. Pulver takes the ‘weird fiction’ mythologies of Robert Chambers, Frank Belknap Long and H.P. Lovecraft, melts them in the crucible of his own unique noir poetry and cooks up a hallucinatory road-trip that is utterly unexpected.
About The Author
Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., was born in New York and currently lives in Germany. Increasingly recognised as a key figure in the renaissance of weird fiction and horror, he is the author of the Lovecraftian novel Nightmare’s Disciple, and has written many short stories included in magazines and anthologies such as Ellen Datlow’s Year’s Best Horror, and S. T. Joshi’s Black Wings. His highly–acclaimed short story collections, Blood Will Have Its Season and SIN & ashes were published by Hippocampus Press in 2009 and 2010. He is currently editing two anthologies for Miskatonic River Press: A Season in Carcosa and The Grimscribe’s Puppets will be released in 2012.
What People Say
“Joe Pulver is like the answer to some arcane riddle: What do you get when you cross one of Plato’s Muse-maddened poets with a Lovecraftian lunatic, and then give their offspring to be raised by Raymond Chandler and a band of Beats? His work caters to a literary hunger you didn’t even know you had, and does it darkly and deliciously.”
Matt Cardin, author of Dark Awakenings
“The Orphan Palace is not a story. With this novel, Joe Pulver wants to press your face right up against the horror, the crime, the sheer madness and absurdity of the cosmos, and rub your nose in it. He wants you to eat it like a dog eats its own vomit; he wants your face to be covered in black-shining stars and rainbow-filth when you’re done; he demands that you be changed by what you have consumed. This is not a novel. It is a unique literary experience.”
“The Orphan Palace kicks you in the face and doesn’t stop. Pulver’s prose sees the world through a cracked lense of 60’s hedonism and 70’s grit, with a side order of unshakable terror. A serial killer novel that explores the dark side of America via Kerouac in a shell of cosmic horror. What he does is electrifying. I’ve never seen anything like it. My hair is still standing on end.”
Simon Strantzas, author of Nightingale Songs
“Joe Pulver’s poetic prose is hypnotic and intoxicating, so beautiful and strange that it transports the reader. Yet it does the work of creating fascinating characters and telling story. Story-telling is an art, and none are more accomplished than Pulver. Weird fiction’s primal duty is to fuck [alternative word: debauch] your brain and kiss your sense of wonder. This book has done that for me, as few horror novels have. Absolutely brilliant.”
Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire
“Mad, malevolent, and incantatory, The Orphan Palace reads like the hagridden fever dream of one who has not only stared the Abyss in Its black and fathomless face, but welcomed Its gaze in return . . . and become Its living embodiment. It is a journey to be taken by none but the bravest of readers, and by souls with an ardent desire to savor their own damnation.”
Robin Spriggs, author of Diary of a Gentleman Diabolist
“The prose of Joe Pulver can take its place with that of the masters of our genre – E.A. Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti – while his imaginative reach is something uniquely his own.”
“While everybody else in horror is still aping the shallow visual palette of cinema, Joe Pulver calls down a storm of psychotronic nightmares charged with the evocative depth and relentless pulse of the Devil’s music.”