Arrival in the Stars
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ARRIVAL IN THE STARS & OTHER STORIES
by Jean Rameau
adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Jean-Felix Lyon
“Tomorrow, Eve, you will be happy,” Adrian said, as he sought the house of the old customs man, those banal lodgings with the smell of frying and the shadows, frequented by the inhabitants of the stars.
Arrival in the Stars is a product of the aftermath of the Great War, and it deals directly with one of the widespread psychological effects of the war: a resurgence of interest in spiritualism. It is an extended conte philosophique seriously addressing the question of life after death as it was conceived at the time by scientifically-enthused psychic researchers, and as it bears upon human psychology under stress.
Also included in this volume are eleven stories from Rameau’s collection Fantasmagories, which represent one of the more exaggerated developments of the conte cruel genre. These tales are extreme both stylistically and thematically, combining the cynicism and irony definitive of the subgenre with grotesque black comedy.
L’Arrivée aux étoiles (Essai vers l’au-delà) [Arrival in the Stars] (1922)
Fantasmagories, histoires rapides [Phantasmagorias: Rapid Tales] (1887)
Introduction and notes by Brian Stableford