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October Dark (Halloween 2010)
by David Herter

Introduction by Jeffrey Ford

ISBN-13:  978-0-9795054-7-8   
ISBN:  0-9795054-7-X
Publication date:  February 2010   
Approx. page count:  560




From acclaimed author David Herter, a new novel in the tradition of Ray Bradbury's SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES and Tim Powers's  LAST CALL....

Halloween, 1931.  The metropolis of Grenton. On the ruined canals, a clock tolls midnight. Willis H. O’Brien, the father of stop motion animation, seeks the base elements of a new animation. And Henri Mordaunt, the undying Phantasmagoria magician, will soon provide them. An uncanny bargain is struck, leading to betrayal and dire retribution, and an act of cinematic alchemy that echoes down the history of fantastic film.

Halloween, 1977. For thirteen-year-old Will and his best friend Jim — amateur animators and Famous Monsters of Filmland fanatics — summer darkens into mysterious autumn, with a black balloon prowling the skies of their suburban neighborhood, and supernatural images haunting the frames of their latest 8 mm epic, heralding doom.  Everything leads to the edge of Grenton’s ruined canals, and the faded cinema palace where STAR WARS has been showing non-stop since late May, a gateway into the mysteries of Grenton’s past, and to a secret history playing out on either side of the silver screen....

OCTOBER DARK was published in the following editions:

500 numbered hardcovers, bound in cloth and signed by David Herter on an illustrated limitation sheet

15 lettered, traycased hardcovers, book and traycase completely hand made using the finest materials, signed by all contributors on an illustrated limitation sheet Inquire About a Lettered Copy

Please click here to purchase a copy


“Herter excels at creating a truly spooky, Halloween-worthy atmosphere that Bradbury fans, among others, will relish.”

“In OCTOBER DARK, so-called movie magic is real, the special effects masters are its practitioners, and it's the only thing protecting the world from unspeakable evil. Filled with nostalgia triggers for baby boomers and Gen Xers alike, with an original story and the liberally dropped names of a pantheon of horror moviemakers, OCTOBER DARK is a delight.”

“Spectacular! I can't remember ever reading something so enjoyable and memory touching. I don't think I have ever called a book a masterpiece before, but this one might just deserve that designation.”

“Herter, like the stop-motion magicians of history, has brought a monster of imagination to life. OCTOBER DARK is brilliant.”
—JEFFREY FORD, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author



“Distinctive and imaginative, a debut of immense promise.”
—Kirkus Reviews on CERES STORM

“A marvelous fantasy.”

“Through voyages on haunted spaceships, encounters with sentient plagues and descents into ancient tombs. . . bemused readers will sympathize with naïve Daric as one enigmatic incident follows another, characters shift from flesh to hologram to crystal to mechanical insect, and reality encompasses dream worlds, shared hallucinations and miniature cities. The book's a grand exercise in weirdness, cloaked in a coming of age story. It's a unique reading experience.” - —Starlog on Ceres Storm

“Herter’s blending of contemporary fantasy and the Verne opera-in-progress is seamless and intense. . . an exquisite, subtle performance.”
—Booklist on Evening’s Empire

Evening’s Empire is a literary fantasy novel of grace and quiet strength, with echoes of Gene Wolfe, Jonathan Carroll, and even a little of H.P. Lovecraft.”
—Elliott Bay Booknotes on Evening’s Empire

"This epic unfolds in a seductive faerie tongue as we follow the perilous transformation of Daric from an adolescent boy into a primal galactic force. We flee with him along elusive coordinates as he deals with constructs that aid or hinder him, and one chromatic scene follows another as he escapes creatures who would bind him to their own uses. And so we move to a shattering climax. A beautiful read.”
— Charles Harness on Ceres Storm

Ceres Storm is sublime, and though the language is sparse, it is rich and poetic, swinging easily between dreamlike perceptions and hard-edged reason. This astonishing debut leaves me hungry for more.”
— Elliott Bay Booknotes on Ceres Storm

“Just as there are touches of D.M. Thomas’s The White Hotel in Herter’s depiction through his beloved Janacek of the warp and weave of civilization under stress, so there are suggestions of Algernon Blackwood’s “The Willows” in the way he spells his great composer into tranced rapport with whatever breathes there and does not wish to be taken into music.”
— John Clute on On the Overgrown Path

The Luminous Depths has a richness of prose and a density of allusion and ideas reminiscent of authors like Aldiss and Wolfe -- and, incidentally, it is a page-turning cracker of a horror story. Outside his homeland, Karel Capek may be remembered primarily through his legacy of the term “Robot”. It is Herter’s achievement in this novella to lead us through the narrow window of that single chthonic word to a rich evocation of a fragile, doomed period of Central European history”
— Stephen Baxter on The Luminous Depths


David Herter was born on Halloween, 1963. His website is at: