Starfire Publishing Ltd., London has announced the republication of Kenneth Grant’s semi-autobiographical novel Against the Light: A Nightside Narrative.
The publisher’s site says this about the work:
“First published in 1997 and long out of print, this republication is freshly typeset, incorporating corrections and additions by Kenneth Grant noted in his copy of the first edition. Illustrated endpapers include diary entries by the author from 1985 when the novel was started; some early plot notes; the first draft of a cover blurb from 1995; and a chart where Grant gives the meaning of symbols on the front of the dustjacket.
“An idle fancy sparked by curiosity opens a door on darkness . . . On learning that an ancestor was executed for witchcraft in the sixteenth century, the narrator is prompted to explore her history. Research having failed, he resorts to magical means and exposes an array of malefic forces poised to invade the Earth. In a deserted Welsh ruin he discovers a grimoire revealing traf ic between alien entities and their terrestrial agents. Rumoured to have lain for centuries in the custody of a Scottish clan, the grimoire’s existence is known to very few. Among them are powerful occultists such as Aleister Crowley and Phineas Black, desperately tracking it down. The grimoire alone holds the keys ─ and the Sign of Protection. A chimera? An allegory? More aptly, a Warning. Civilization is careering to destruction: it may find the Sign ─ or, the Seal of its doom . . .
This rich, scintillating novel by Kenneth Grant was described by him as “quasiautobiography”. The background to this Nightside Narrative, like so much of Grant’s work, can be found in New Isis Lodge, a magical working group which developed from the late 1940s, was formally established in 1955, and carried on working until the mid 1960s. Some of the workings of New Isis Lodge were described by Kenneth Grant in Hecate’s Fountain. In the late 1950s, the ritualists of New Isis Lodge began to receive a series of oracles which on subsequent rearrangement formed a coherent work known as ‘The Book of the Spider’. When planning his third and final trilogy during the 1980s, Grant decided to publish ‘The Book of the Spider’ with extended commentary in the final volume, The Ninth Arch. He was aware, however, that assimilation of The Ninth Arch might be somewhat demanding, and thought that perhaps something was appropriate by way of introduction. That “something” turned out to be the novel Against the Light.
Grant started writing Against the Light in the mid 1980s, and he developed it to explore in a fictional setting some of the themes of ‘The Book of the Spider’. It was his original intention that Against the Light be published before The Ninth Arch, and this was achieved by its first publication in 1997. The Ninth Arch itself is now to be republished towards the end of 2016, and it is fitting that the publication of Against the Light again precedes that of The Ninth Arch, this time by several months.
This republication of Against the Light is set for August 2016, is freshly typeset, and incorporates corrections and additions by Kenneth Grant noted in his copy of the 1997 edition. Illustrated endpapers include diary entries by the author from 1985 when the novel was started; some early plot notes; the first draft of a cover blurb from 1995; and a gloss where Grant gives the meaning of symbols on the front of the dustjacket. A colour frontispiece reproduces the bust of Mephistopheles, a mysterious and compelling figure which is an integral feature of this novel and which appears elsewhere in Grant’s work
142 pages, octavo format, sewn hardbound. With illustrated endpapers, fullcolour frontispiece, and fullcolour wraparound dustjacket designed by Steffi Grant. Limited edition of 750 copies, the first 71 copies of which form a deluxe edition. The standard edition, ISBN 9781906073374, bound in black cloth and priced at £25.00, is due to be published in August. Postage and packing is an additional £4.00 within the UK, £7.00 within European countries, and £12.00 elsewhere. For customers in Canada and the USA, the standard edition should be ordered from Holmes Publishing, our distributors there.
For all customers not in Canada or the USA, payments can be made directly by Paypal to email@example.com (in Sterling only). Payment can also be made (again, in Sterling only) by a cheque drawn on a UK bank, or by International Money Order or Banker’s Draft. Cheques, money orders or drafts should be made payable to ’Starfire Publishing Ltd.’ and posted to Starfire Publishing Ltd., BCM Starfire, London WC1N 3XX, United Kingdom.
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