The Ritual of Illusion

by Richard Christian Matheson
Release date: November 2013
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: horror, mystery

A novella. Cover art by Harry O. Morris.

A sinister love letter to the movies, acclaimed author Richard Christian Matheson’s The Ritual Of Illusion is a novella of modern fear about where stars truly come from. Oscar-winning film siren, Sephanie Vamore, meteors to iconic fame... but like cinema itself, nothing is as it appears. The fifty witnesses to her mythic ascent and bizarre fate are film royalty... many based on Hollywood glitterati; directors, stars, agents, studio heads, screenwriters, lovers, producers.

Widescreen with lies and revelation, Vamore’s story is told Rashomon-style with dialogue alone — each hypnotic character adding poignant or lurid details to the shocking truth of what she really is. Matheson’s insider’s voice is a scathing x-ray that leaves them bloodied, awaiting their close-up.

* * * * *

“There are, occasionally, writers who are able to combine both story and style. They are, of course, the best. You get a spectacular view and you also get to look at it from the backseat of a chauffeur-driven Cadillac. In the field of fantasy, those writers able to combine story-as-narration with story-as-style are even rarer. But there are a few... the late Theodore Sturgeon, the early Ray Bradbury... and Richard Christian Matheson. A brilliant chip off the old block.” — Stephen King

“One of a handful of fear-minded authors helping to create a new sensibility in horror fiction that is as frightening and merciless as the modern world itself.” — Rolling Stone

“The gift of a new longform work by Matheson is always an event to be celebrated and indeed celebrity burns at the heart of THE RITUAL OF ILLUSION. Dizzying, kaleidoscopic.” — David J. Schow

“A man who writes stories like these is a dangerous man.” — Dean Koontz

“A great horror writer.” — New York Times

“Miniature masterpieces of compression and tension.” — Publishers Weekly

“A real stunner. Want to get swept up on a journey you will never forget and never quite escape? Open THE RITUAL OF ILLUSION and let its magic leap out, grab you, take you places unlike you have ever known.” — Whitley Strieber

“...this is the sort of intelligent, even thoughtful fiction that floats far above the usual one else could have thought to write this way; no one else would have imagined it possible.” — Peter Straub

“Bold and original. Ethereal and bizarre. Impossible to put down. I loved it!” — Mick Garris  

“While I am talking, he is rounding the bases with another home-run...” —Ray Bradbury

“I stand in awe of Richard’s talent. Somehow, every time, he ends up with nuanced perfection and excels magnificently. I’m jealous.” — Stephen J. Cannell

“Matheson is the crack cocaine of horror fiction. It’s our good fortune that he still takes the time to produce fiction that blows most of the competition out of the water. Folks, this is how it’s done.” — Hellnotes

“Richard Christian Matheson is a master of compression. He knows how to catch a moment in words and convey it straight to the reader’s heart.” — Clive Barker

“He excels as a literary writer of perfect integrity. I take inspiration in the mastery and control of this remarkable writer.” — Dennis Etchison

”Imagine a Rosetta microchip. Compact, succinct, precise. Universes in there. Richard’s stories are like a drop of biowar culture. Like a speck of neutron star that weighs a million tons. About the length of the blowgun dart that clips to his knees the consumer of cake-thick, water-inflated paperbacks, wondering what the fuck just stung him to death. Richard writes high-powered short stories. Will. Payload. Intent. Aim. Delivery. Coda. In the blink of an eye. Or faster. Don’t blink. Start reading. You’re already behind.” — David J. Schow

“When a writer with a voice as good as Richard Christian Matheson’s tells you something, you have no choice but to listen. In THE RITUAL OF ILLUSION the voices are legion, and the gaps between their testimonies drag us closer to understanding the darkly beating heart of all our, ephemeral, transfixing dreams. Dark, subtle, horrifically funny.” — Michael Marshall Smith

updated 2017-01-17

Other books you might like

AliveSam Spallucci: The Shadows of Lancaster (Sam Spallucci, #3)Wylding HallBreakerThe Adventure of the Innsmouth Mutations (Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu, #3)
Online 43 visitors
Newest member: aaro
Total members: 6061