I love learning authors' backstory and what inspired them to write, so when the prolific thriller and romantic suspense author Rebecca York www.rebeccayork.com explained to Kiss of Death Chapter members that Author Jack Williamson inspired her to pen words to paper, I couldn't resist. I immediately ordered the talked-about novel DARKER THAN YOU THINK. It's been a tremendous learning experience, not just about the story itself, but about the author.
Darker Than You Think is the story of WILL BARBEE, a heavy drinking newspaper reporter assigned to cover the story of an archaeological teams' mysterious dig in the Gobi Desert. When Dr. Mondrick Lamarck and his team of scientists deplane, Will and a rival reporter APRIL BELL are there among other members of the press to meet the archaeologists at the airport. The team carries with them a mysterious trunk, but instead of being excited about what's in it, they're afraid -- intensely so. When Dr. Mondrick, the leader of the expedition, tries to explain what they found in the desert, which includes a secret enemy awaiting the coming of the "Child of the Night," he falls dead at reporters' feet, the apparent victim of a heart attack.
As for April Bell, a fellow reporter Will should see as his opposition, he finds he is intensely attracted to her, even though he senses she might have had something to do with Dr. Mondrick's death. As maddening dreams invade his waking life, and old friends start to die one after the other, Will stumbles onto a semihuman breed of shapeshifters who are waging an ancient war in the name of the Child of the Night.
For anyone who loves paranormal, Jack Williamson deftly combines elements of witchcraft, vampires and shapeshifters. His research, which includes history, archeology and probability and statistics was so realistic, I found myself wishing I'd built up my silver collection.
John Stewart Williamsom (April 29, 1908 - Nov 10, 2006) died at the age of 98. He was referred to as the "Dean of Science Fiction." The author of numerous science fiction and horror books, he was also a professor emeritus at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. In the 1950s he was presented by with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association.
Author Rebecca York wasn't the only author inspired by Jack Williamson. Williams' work has influenced bestselling work of writers like Stephen King and Anne Rice for decades. To think I might never have read him without Ms. York's recommendation. Thank you!
To Laura Hayden of Author! Author! thanks for scrambling to find this book for me. The original copyright was 1940 by Street & Smith Publications, renewed copyright in 1948 by Jack Williamson and the Introduction and copyright of my version says 1999 by Douglas E. Winter. It also has fantastic illustrations, copyright 1984 by David G. Klein. I wanted readers to see the cover. The one I found on line is okay, but I'm partial to the one Laura got for me (sorry, taken from my digital camera.) And I can't tell you how cool the illustrations are (but they too are copyrighted). Further my copy is not for sale.
Darker Than You Think is an outstanding book and outstanding teaching reference for anyone writing paranormal or studying craft in general.