by Victor-Emile Michelet
adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Mike Hoffman
Mantle of night that no eye contemplated, threshold of shadow on which Apollonius and Moses were exhausted, wearied by having broken down the previous forty-nine doors!
The stories collected in Victor-Emile Michelet’s Superhuman Tales (1900) reveal his determined and constant ambition to push various envelopes in horror, fantasy and supernatural, which gives them a unique, particular edge.
Michelet makes considerable efforts to distance his work from the conventional formulae. His tales draw energy and charm from the earnest esotericism of their central motifs, and poignantly exploit the author’s fascination with death. Filled with the ironic spirit of the contes cruels, which dominated upmarket short fiction during the fin-de-siècle, they are visionary fantasies with a peculiar obliquity that is the hallmark of his work.
Michelet took his fantasy and symbolism seriously, especially when their extrapolation led him by convoluted paths to the strange conclusions displayed in this collection.
Amour in Error
The Isle of Joy
The Distress of Hercules
The Mystery of an Incarnation
Among all Gazes
The Disquieting Rose
The Day of Glorification
The Death of Lovers
Incantation by the Ten Divine Names
Introduction and Notes by Brian Stableford.