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From Bruin Asylum: celestial chess by Thomas bontly

Paperback Now On Sale

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    American scholar and lettered medievalist, David Fairchild, swings a plum sabbatical at Cambridge University, where he is given full access to a rare manuscript written by a mad monk of shameful repute—Geoffrey Gervaise. The Westchurch Manuscript has lain neglected in the University vaults for centuries . . . or has it? A shadowy nefarious cabal has had an interest in the manuscript for a very long time and sharpens its claws anytime anyone probes its secrets. Expecting a pleasant year pursuing his passion for medieval literature, Fairchild quickly finds himself entangled in the centuries old curse that surrounds the manuscript and its mysterious author. Murders ensue, the Supernatural stirs and old haunting grounds are disturbed. Fairchild must make some hard decisions if he is to save a family that has lived under the Gervaise curse for generations. 

     Buoyant with humor, and electrified by suspense and shuddering frights, Thomas Bontly’s Celestial Chess is at long last available again. In his new introduction to the novel, Thomas Kent Millar reveals everything he loves about this sadly neglected novel and relates his decades-long quest to see it back in print. Bravo!

    With a pace that sizzles like a five-minute blitz match, Celestial Chess is on the board, so what do you say to a quick game?

    Your move . . .

eBook Version

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eBook version features colored illustrations by Culpeo S. Fox. 

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BRUIN ASYLUM - MASTERWORKS OF THE MACABRE

Walpole's Fantastic Tales, Volume I: The Fallen by Hugh Walpole

Welcome to a little soirée that’s long overdue: a celebration of the life and work of Hugh Walpole. Immensely popular in the first half of the twentieth century, Hugh Walpole was a prolific bestselling author who was equally adept at historical fiction, thrillers, the supernatural and macabre, and children’s literature. A protégé of Henry James and appreciated by Joseph Conrad, Virginia Wolf, T. S. Eliot and John Buchan—to name a few, Walpole was a natural storyteller who inspired many young writers of the day. Volume I of WALPOLE’S FANTASTIC TALES contains three novels that share similar themes and settings: the British school experience (bullying), psychological suspense, the wild Cornish coastline, murder and the macabre. Walpole’s character development, dialogue and description of the natural setting are so spot-on and engaging that the reader feels physically joined to the narrative. Volume I contains a trio of novels: THE KILLER AND THE SLAIN—a novel of possession and betrayal; MR. PERRIN AND MR. TRAILL—a biting story of school rivalry that leads to murderous intensions; and, finally, THE PRELUDE TO ADVENTURE, a psychological masterpiece about philosophy, God and the consequences of murder. Although he is virtually unknown to general reading public today, once read, Walpole is sure to become a favorite author to anyone who encounters his work. He is a lost treasure. Multiple Volumes of WALPOLE’S FANTASTIC TALES will follow, but Volume I has plenty to satisfy the curious for the time being. 

Special Features

Beautiful cover design. A generous large format book containing three novels by the egregiously neglected writer, Hugh Walpole, whose faithful followers are perplexed that he is little read today. His novels were best sellers in the 20's and 30's and are just as enjoyable today. Illustrated with medieval Tarot themes. Introduction by Jonathan Eeds.

BRUIN ASYLUM - MASTERWORKS OF THE MACABRE

THE WITCHING NIGHT by C. S. Cody

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It is too bad that The Witching Night is Leslie Waller’s only foray into weird fiction, because it’s a chilling tour de force. Written early in the bestselling author’s career, Waller used the pseudonym C. S. Cody to distinguish the novel from the crime fiction and international intrigue he would later become famous for. Groundbreaking in its approach, The Witching Night pits medical science against a relentless, malignant force. Dr. Loomis—a young, well-grounded MD who operates a small clinic in Chicago—draws on his medical training by using pharmaceuticals to keep himself buoyant and lucid in the midst of a direct attack by a malicious entity . . . or is it a curse? Nameless, indefinable . . . one thing is certain: it’s a killer, and likes to torture before it kills. Leslie Waller wrote such memorable novels as Dog Day Afternoon and Hide in Plain Sight. He also collaborated with Steven Spielberg on the novelization of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Too long neglected, The Witching Night was chosen to launch Bruin Books’ new line of weird fiction, Bruin Asylum. Introduction by Jonathan Eeds. Welcome to the Asylum.

A GARDEN LOST IN TIME by Jonathan Aycliffe

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January 1917, Cornwall. Following the death of his father in The Great War, Fifteen-year-old Simon Lysaght is sent to live with his Uncle, Sir David Trevelyan, who rules over the wickedly ancient family estate, Trevelyan Priors. Simon immediately latches on to his younger cousin, Tom, and together they explore the darker reaches of Trevelyan Priors, including the Shot Tower, where something terrible lurks, and a forbidden garden that seems lost in time. One afternoon, sounds of distant battlefield guns spoil a lovely picnic by the lakeside—an impossibility considering the distance to Flanders Fields. The thunderous guns signal the inescapable darkness that descends upon the family. Rich in atmosphere and populated with memorable characters—some noble, some nefarious, all haunted—A Garden Lost in Time proves that the traditional ghost story is alive and well and perfectly able to chill the blood. Jonathan Aycliffe’s half dozen horror novels are gilded in the grand old tradition of the English ghost story. It is a precious genre, well worth preserving and protecting from the teenification that continues to seep into the greater pool of horror fiction. Drenched in atmosphere and implication, the traditional ghost story was taken to artistic heights in the early part of the 20th century by the legendary M.R. James. His portrayal of the metaphysical shroud that lingers just beyond our vision, drawn to our fears and powered by our doubts, showed that the ordinary and mundane things that we do every day are in fact always on the edge of collapse. Although many other writers have trod the same misty ground since James, no one has done more to explore and extend the Jamesian legacy in modern times than Jonathan Aycliffe

I AM YOUR BROTHER by G. S. Marlowe

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Publication of I AM YOUR BROTHER is the literary event of the year for Weird fiction. A legendary lost novel, it has until now been virtually unavailable. Originally published in 1935, I AM YOUR BROTHER uses the façade of the traditional horror novel to take a deep dive into the human psyche. It is a monster novel, a locked attic novel, and a mad scientist novel, but it is propelled by a string of scenes that read more like a collection of Marx Brothers outtakes. Juggling humor, horror and dread, the plot gallops along at a delirious pace. At the heart of this fairy tale are a mother and her two sons. They are very poor and live together in London. It is the London between wars. One son is a musician and composer. His whole world revolves around the theater. He has written many unpublished songs, including a symphony called “Dream of London.” Self-absorbed and tormented, Julian has no inkling that he has a brother. He’s lived his entire life thinking himself an only child. This delusion is prolonged because his mother, a rather distant and distracted figure in his life, keeps his brother locked in the attic. The Brother can never see the light of day because he is strikingly hideous, inhuman—a guilty secret the mother must keep hidden from the world. As discombobulated as the plot is, as crazy as the characters are, I AM YOUR BROTHER is an enchanting read. It’s magical and mysterious and is rich in haunting imagery that just knocks you to the floor when you encounter it. It’s after one of these poetic jolts that you ask: who is this Marlowe? Introduction by Jonathan Eeds, who also painted the wrap-around cover. Newly edited and fully illustrated to enhance the reading experience.

DR. MABUSE by Norbert Jacques

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Back in print at last is Dr. Mabuse. This extremely rare English translation of the Norbert Jacques novel appeared only once in 1923 and then was lost for decades. And what a fantastic find it is! Molded as much by legendary film director Fritz Lang as by novelist Norbert Jacques, Dr. Mabuse remains one of the more enigmatic figures in crime fiction and cinema. Created between the Great War and World War II, he became an embodiment of the rising Nazi Party and the disintegration of Germany’s Weimar Republic. The parallels were so close between Hitler and Mabuse that Lang’s first two Mabuse films were banned in Germany by Joseph Goebbels’ propaganda machine. There is a broad streak of the weird running through the Dr. Mabuse legacy. Is he an evil genius—a mere mortal with a malignant bent, or is he a demon spirit who carries on the dark crusade long after the human avatar is destroyed by his own maniacal ambitions? The plot is wickedly simple. Dr. Mabuse has a mad dream to create his own personal empire in Brazil, an empire called Citopomar. In Citopomar he can rule without constraint. He can be a god! . . . but even a god requires some start-up cash, so he regrettably returns to his hated Europe to raise funds by any criminal means necessary. Why make money when you can steal it? Why merely cheat somebody at cards when you can control their hand through telepathic hypnosis? Why be just another common criminal when you can be an evil genius mastermind bent on world domination? Man or devil, he is a prototype super-villain whose sinister incantations still resonate in fiction and film today. Fascinating parallels can be found in Ian Fleming’s first James Bond outing, Casino Royale. In that novel, bad boy Le Chiffre trolls the high-roller casinos to fund his schemes and even dares to embezzle from SMERSH in order to fund his human trafficking pipeline. Le Chiffre is yet another reincarnation of Dr. Mabuse. Bruin Asylum is proud to announce the resurrection of Dr. Mabuse by Norbert Jacques. English translation by Lillian A. Clare.

THE MAGICIAN & OTHER STRANGE STORIES by W. Somerset Maugham

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Written early in Maugham’s career, and capitalizing on the popular resurgence of Gothic Horror at the turn of the 20th century, The Magician is Maugham’s deepest dive into supernatural fiction. He based his Svengali-like title character on Aleister Crowley—the great sinner, adventurer, and decadent poet of his day. Maugham came to know Crowley while living in Paris, receiving a close-up view of the iconic bad-boy at the height of his flamboyant forays into the dark arts and paganism. Joined here with The Magician for the first time are nearly all the strange stories that Maugham produced during his distinguished career. As fine an example of weird fiction as The Magician is, Maugham truly shines in his short stories, and they demonstrate why he is considered one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. In the stories, which range from the short-short form to the novella length, Maugham explores the tattered frays of human emotion with humor, irony and jarring scandal. Spend a few hours with a master story teller and enjoy the journey into darkness. Story contents include: The Magician (novel,) The Dream, Rain, P. & O., Honolulu, The Taipan, Lord Mountdrago, A Man from Glasgow, Mirage, The Unconquered, The Vessel of Wrath, The Man with the Scar.

THE BAT WOMAN by Cromwell Gibbons

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Prepare for schlock and awe! Written by Hollywood screenwriter Cromwell Gibbons in the 1930's, this wonderfully schlocky novel of evil menace was undoubtedly meant as a treatment for a Universal Studios horror picture. It has all the elements of a Saturday matinee fright fest: vampirism, mad scientists, head-hunters and yellow peril. Nearly impossible to find, THE BAT WOMAN is a guilty pleasure that's sure to enthrall and amuse

THE UNDYING MONSTER by Jesse Douglas Kerruish

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First published in 1922, The Undying Monster set the stage for the many classic werewolf movies and stories that would follow. A centuries old family curse resurfaces to torment the only two remaining family members of the old Hammand dynasty, which has been long established in a grand mansion on the Sussex coast. The only hope is to call in a famous psychic detective to solve the mystery and free the family from the curse that has befallen so many of their ancestors. The detective, an early example of a firebrand feminist, lights up the novel with her flamboyant grit and eclectic knowledge of the occult, and her wild assumptions about the true nature of the Beast leads the reader deep into the briar patch before solving the puzzle. Packed with a scatter shot of supernatural influences and drenched in atmosphere, The Undying Monster is a blast to read. The highly entertaining John Braham 1942 film of the same name only captures a fraction of the novel’s frenzied fireworks. This new edition of The Undying Monster features a bonus werewolf appendix and an introduction that offers fresh perspective of this classic novel of the supernatural.

THE UNHOLY THREE by Tod Robbins

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Three criminal misfits use their unique circus talents to create a cloud of mischief, misdirection and malevolence. Their petty evil mayhem spells disaster for the innocents within the circus troupe and drapes the noose around their own twisted necks in the bargain. Plus: SPURS, a closely connected story that inspired the most audacious horror film of the early 20th Century, Tod Brownings’ FREAKS.

TIGER GIRL by Gordon Casserly

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Tiger Girl, an incredibly elusive novel until now, is arguably an extension of the famous Creeps series of books published by Philip Allan in the 1930’s. The fact that it has never been considered a part of the Creeps series is that is impossible to find and so there is scant information about it. Very few rare book collectors have seen it, let alone read it. Oh, boy: what we’ve been missing! Originally published in 1934, Tiger Girl is a full-on supernatural novel with an exotic setting on the fringes of a British-India outpost. Hindu mysticism, vampirism and were-tiger mythology are tightly woven into the fabric of this enthralling adventure story. Gordon Casserly wraps his tale around his own personal experiences in the Indian Jungles, where he served for many years as a British post commandant. Here at last is this beautiful story of love and horror, as fresh and exciting as if just dug up from a time capsule buried in the ruins of an old Indian frontier fort. Tiger Girl awaits you. 


TIGER GIRL IS TEMPORARILY UNVAILABLE.

THE FUNGUS by Harry Adam Knight

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CARDINAL BISHOP, INC. by Jonathan Eeds

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Cardinal Bishop, Inc. is a short comic novel about a young man who has lost his way and is desperate to find some purpose in his life. His misadventures become exceedingly surreal until he finally wakes up to who he is, who he's loved, and who he's left behind. Jon's note: I'm really not done with this book. Cardinal Bishop is still rumbling around in my and I want a redux. Time has given me some additional perspective and I want to return to the story for another edition that will include interspersed sections of a graphic novel format.