A new horror novel from the master of suspense.
Author: Paul Dale Anderson
Genre: Supernatural Horror
Word Count: 104,250
An evil entity has hidden the sun, and the world becomes a dark and dreadful place. Biegolmai Davvii, a Saami shaman and one of the eight Guardians of the Four Winds, sends the Lone Ranger, a former US Army Ranger, and Jon Fish, a Marine Drill Instructor, to Machu Picchu to find the evil sorcerer who sacrifices women to acquire the power to control the sun. Jon is the reincarnation of the bodhisattva Akashagarbha, and he has the power to cross time and space. The Ranger is the reincarnation of the bodhisattva Vajrapani and he has the power to control winds and rain, thunder and lightning. But as long as an evil entity controls the vortex at the peak of Machu Picchu, neither man may access their bodhisattva powers and they must climb the mountain as mortals. After a fight with Elman’s minions, they are able to halt the sacrifices, but they are unable to capture Yam Elman, the twin brother of Guardian Hadad Elman. Elman escapes and attempts to take control of one of the other vortexes of power.
Elman thrives on chaos, and the darkness that encompasses the world sends people into panic. Weird religions spring up overnight, among them Elman’s Ministry of Light which promises eternal life and eternal light in return for blind obedience and personal sacrifice. Jon, the Ranger, and two other Guardians—Bryn Helgasdottir, a Valkyrie, and Kisikil Lalake, a wood nymph—attack Elman’s church headquarters north of St. Louis at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Elman double-whammies Jon, Bryn, and the Ranger with Vril magic. Kisi turns Vril magic against Elman and frees her companions, but the Ranger hits his head against a tree and loses all memory of Vajrapani. In order to heal the Ranger, restore his memory, and reunite him with Vajrapani, Biegolmai sends the Ranger, Kisi, Bryn, and Kiyari—the reincarnation of an Incan moon priestess who is also the reincarnation of Persephone and Inanna—into the underworlds on a healing journey. Yam Elman has also gone into the underworlds to recruit demons to help him take over the world. In order to find Elman, force him to return the sun and keep him from ascending the world tree with a demon army, the Ranger and his companions must search through all nine underworlds and return their spirits to their mortal bodies within twelve days or remain trapped in the underworlds forever. Guided through the underworlds by Hecate, they encounter demons, serpents, Queen Ereshkegal, King Aidoneus Haides, Snow Queen Hel, and demon Udug Hul. Each of the four companions faces his or her own personal demons in the underworlds. They emerge from the underworlds with greater knowledge and they manage to recover the silver mask of the Moon Goddess, but Elman escapes them.
Elman who holds the golden mask of the Sun God needs to acquire the silver mask of the Moon Goddess to gain complete power and become as a god himself. In a final confrontation in northern Wisconsin, Elman and his army of demons kill Kiyari and then Yam Elman is killed by Vajrapani. Elman dies without removing the spell that hides the sun. Jon, Hadad, and the other Guardians fight off the demons, and Jon asks Akashagarbha to send Udug Hul into the void. Akashagarbha follows Hul into the void to finish him, but Hul proves more powerful than anyone realizes. Hul fights Jon off and stops fighting only when Hul senses that Kiyari and Elman are both dead. Hul asks Akashagarbha to allow him to return to the underworlds with the spirit of Yam Elman to punish Elman for his sins.
Jon returns to his duties as a drill instructor at the San Diego Marine Recruit Station and the world remains dark. But Udug Hul appears to Jon and brings with him the sight of the sun. Hul has tortured Elman in the underworld and learned the secret of hiding and restoring the sun. Hul tells Jon that he restored the sun in return for Akashagarbha allowing him to return to his duties in the underworld.
Blending mythologies from ancient Sumeria, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Tibet, and Peru, Darkness rivals the Dresden stories of Jim Butcher.
Paul Dale Anderson Bio
Paul Dale Anderson has written more than 17 novels and hundreds of short stories, mostly in the horror, fantasy, and science fiction genres. Paul has also written contemporary romances, mysteries, and westerns. Paul is an Active Member of SFWA and HWA, and he was elected Vice President and Trustee of Horror Writers Association in 1987. He is a current member of International Thriller Writers and a former Active Member of MWA.
Paul has taught creative writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago and for Writers Digest School. He has appeared on panels at Chicon4 and Chicon7, X-Con, Windy Con, the World Horror Convention, and the World Fantasy Convention. Paul was a guest of honor at Horror Fest in Estes Park, Colorado, in 1989. He is currently the chair of the 2014 HWA Stoker Awards Long Fiction Jury.
Paul has been an editor at 2AM Publications, Morningstar, and several major medical publishers. He was a book reviewer for Fantasy Review, and his articles have appeared in Mystery Scene and other genre publications. Paul served as a Chief Warrant Offer in the U. S. Army Reserve from 1966 to 1987, and he wrote policy and procedural manuals for the U. S. Army. He was a civilian budget analyst for a major USAR Command, and he managed major airport hotels in Chicago and Atlanta, Georgia. Paul is a retired librarian and he currently teaches psychology, hypnosis, and NLP at a community college. He is a Board Certified Hypnotist and a National Guild of Hypnotists Certified Instructor.
Notable horror fiction by Paul Dale Anderson:
(1984). Love Till the End of Time. Madison, WI: The Strange Company.
(1985). The Devil Made Me Do It. Madison, WI: The Strange Company.
(1987). I’ll Show You Mine. In D. B. Silva (Ed.), The Best of the Horror Show, (pp. 66-67). Chicago: 2AM Publications.
(1989). Claw Hammer. New York: Pinnacle Books.
(1989). Better Than One. In J. N. Williamson (Ed.), Masques III: All-New Works of Horror and the Supernatural (pp. 68-73). New York: St. Martin’s Press. Reprinted (2002) as Darker Masques by Pinnacle Books.
(1990). Daddy’s Home. New York: Pinnacle Books.
(1991). The Best. In J. Gelb & M. Garrett (Eds.), Hotter Blood: More Tales of Erotic Horror (pp. 161-171). New York: Pocket Books. Reprinted (2004) by Pinnacle Books. Available as Kindle edition.
(1992). Rites of Spring. In J. Gelb (Ed.) Shock Rock (pp. 121-126). New York: Pocket Books.
(1995). What You See. In J. Gelb & M. Garrett (Eds.), Seeds of Fear (pp. 219-235). New York: Pocket Books. Reprinted (2005) BY Pinnacle Books. Available as Kindle edition.
(2011). Better than One. In J. N. Willliamson (Ed) Illustrated Masques: Masques Stories in Graphic Format. Gauntlet Press. Reprinted (2012) as trade paperback by IDW Publishing.
(2015). Abandoned. San Antonio, TX: Eldritch Press.