Ray Garton had way too many kind things to say about Blue November Storms in his introduction to the new edition, but he also covered a wide range of topics including why you should never, ever go into the woods. Ever.
Here’s a little preview:
It is immediately evident when one reads Blue November Storms that one is in the hands of a writer who knows what he’s doing. That only becomes more evident as one proceeds.
I love this kind of story. You know, the kind of story where old friends, often reunited after a long separation, are confronted with the resurgence of some haunting or terrifying event from the past in which they were all involved and by which they were all scarred. It has a rich history in the genre–Peter Straub’s Ghost Story, Stephen King’s It, among others–because it’s something with which most people can immediately identify. While few of us have in our backgrounds something as extreme as murder or rape or some other horrible crime, we all have something we probably would not want to revisit, something we wish would just stay buried.
But this is the horror genre, where things don’t stay buried.
In a cabin they built in the woods, they will reunite with their friend after twenty years on the night of what promises to be a spectacular meteor shower. While their families are at a nearby campground watching the light show, the guys will be hashing over the past in their old cabin.
But like I said… this is the horror genre.
Anyone familiar with the horror genre knows that, should you find yourself in a horror story, it’s always a good idea to stay the hell out of the woods. Personally, I think that’s a good policy in life, staying out of the woods. I grew up in a family of campers. I’ve never been able to get a good handle on the concept of camping. People in the modern world, with all the modern conveniences, deciding to pack some stuff and go stay out in the woods for a while–it makes no sense. I mean, if a massive earthquake hits or there’s a nuclear attack or the power grid goes down, yeah, then you have to rough it. But to pick a random weekend and leave behind one’s bed and toilet and heat and air conditioning to traipse off to the woods and sleep in a tent for pleasure–it’s unfathomable madness. Even if you have access to a cabin, it’s still a cabin and you’re still in the goddamned woods. I don’t get it.
If you’re a horror fan, you know what’s out there. There are families of inbred cannibals, practitioners of unspeakable religious rites, extraterrestrials possibly disoriented by a rough touchdown, drug-crazed psycho-killers and Bigfoot, to name only a few things. But that’s just the horror stuff. There’s also nature to contend with, and I’m not talking about the PBS series. I’m talking about possible conditions that will kill you and animals that will start eating you before you’re dead. I’m talking about insects that not only don’t fear you but want to explore you and boldly go where no insect has ever gone before and should never ever be allowed to go, period…
It’s really a wonderful introduction and Ray has a lot more to say after that, so I hope you’ll pick up a copy of this new edition!