The Red Spider

Delphi Fabrice, trans. from the French by Brian Stableford. Snuggly, $16 trade paper (206p) ISBN 978-1-64525-062-3
This intoxicating novel from Fabrice (1877–1937), appearing in English for the first time, straddles the intersection of horror and Decadence to deliver a tale as terrifying as it is titillating. Andhré Mordann, self-described as “a curiosity-seeker and vagabond of vice,” serves as the narrator of the majority of the novel. Gripped by hideous nightmares and haunted by a mysterious phantom, multiple apparitions, and the inescapable presence of arachnids, Mordann descends into madness amid a life of decadent splendor. His soul “struggles in the mesh of the spider-web” as he gives into sadism, delusion, and self-loathing. Fabrice’s prose, expertly translated by Stableford, is vivid and tightly packed as Mordann’s perversions grow more intense. Genre devotees will notice the germ of much contemporary horror in Fabrice’s tale, making this dark, immersive story a must-have for fans of turn-of-the-century Decadent literature and anyone looking to explore horror’s roots. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/28/2021
Release date: 04/12/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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