This month The Last Ritual, by S. A. Sidor hit stores across the USA, with it arriving in the UK next month, just in time for Christmas. We thought it was about time we sat down and chatted with Steve to find out a bit more about the occult in Arkham. You can also read a FREE excerpt of the novel here.
A mad surrealist’s art threatens to rip open the fabric of reality, in this twisted tale of eldritch horror and conspiracy, from the wildly popular world of Arkham Horror.
The beautiful cover is by a genuine master of the surreal, the wonderful, John Coulthart. We’re enormous fans of John, and he’s absolutely nailed this art deco-inspired occult cover for us. Just keep staring at it, the details are endless!
Unapologetically Lovecraftian, this novel of terrifying Cosmic Horror, hypnotism, illusion, and mind control is based on the wildly popular board game. In 1925, in Europe and Arkham, Massachusetts, strange forces are afoot.
– The Haunted Reading Room, via Netgalley
S A Sidor
Your protagonist is a surrealist artist, which artists and/or paintings particularly inspired you?
I visited Salvador Dalí’s home in Portlligat on the Costa Brava in Catalonia, Spain two summers ago. What struck me was how Dali’s vision of the world extended past his paintings and other artwork to encompass a whole way of seeing life. His outsized personality, reputation for self-promotion, and manipulations of “celebrity” were ahead of their time. He certainly was a jumping off point for Juan Hugo Balthazarr in The Last Ritual. André Breton, in his 1924 manifesto, defined Surrealism: “Psychic automatism in its pure state… Dictated by thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.” That sounds a bit Lovecraftian, doesn’t it?
What aspects of Lovecraftian lore feel most relevant to you as a writer?
I love the old tomes with peculiar names (Daemonolatreia of Remigius!) and the abysmal track record of all the characters that have tangled with the Ancient Ones and met their tragic fates. The search for forbidden knowledge is the best engine a storyteller has.
The Last Ritual features a strong Great Gatsby party vibe, what’s so horrific about the decadence of the social elite?
An ever-present sense of approaching, yet indefinable, doom hovers over the wild partying atmosphere of the Roaring Twenties. The Great War has ended. Some people are getting filthy rich. The elites look fantastically modern. They’re having the time of their lives, but something in them perceives, however vaguely, that it’s all about to come crashing down. The only question is when. Gatsby is a story about obsession. It depicts the shocking violence underpinning decadence, and a ripple of sadness runs through it all.
This read was incredibly enjoyable albeit slightly mind boggling at times. I often found myself in as much as a spin as our protagonist, Alden Oakes, as he makes his way around the city trying to puzzle together the odd occurrences that he happens across. This is all good however and it all adds to the mystery, placing us right in the middle of the action.
– Book Vagabond, via Netgalley
S A SIDOR is the author of four dark crime thrillers and more recently two splendid supernatural-pulp adventures, Fury From the Tomb and The Beast of Nightfall Lodge. He lives near Chicago with his family.
US On Sale Date: November 3, 2020
UK On Sale Date: December 10, 2020
Paperback ISBN: 9781839080135
Global Ebook On Sale Date: November 3, 2020
ebook ISBN: 9781839080142