Dark fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy literary and cinematic works that incorporate darker and frightening themes of fantasy. It often combines fantasy with elements of horror or has a gloomy, dark atmosphere, or a sense of horror and dread. A strict definition for dark fantasy is difficult to pin down. Gertrude Barrows Bennett has been called "the woman who invented dark fantasy". Both Charles L. Grant and Karl Edward Wagner are credited with having coined the term "dark fantasy"—although both authors were describing different styles of fiction. Brian Stableford argues "dark fantasy" can be usefully defined as subgenre of stories that attempt to "incorporate elements of horror fiction" into the standard formulae of fantasy stories. Stableford suggests that supernatural horror set in the real world is a form of "contemporary fantasy", whereas supernatural horror set or wholly in "secondary worlds" should be described as "dark fantasy". Additionally, other authors and publishers have adopted dark fantasy to describe various other works.
However, these stories share universal similarities beyond supernatural occurrences and a dark brooding, tone. As a result, dark fantasy cannot be solidly connected to a defining set of tropes; the term itself may refer collectively to tales that are either fantasy-based. Some writers use "dark fantasy" as an alternative description to "horror", because they feel the latter term is too lurid or vivid. Charles L. Grant is cited as having coined the term "dark fantasy". Grant defined his brand of dark fantasy as "a type of horror story in which humanity is threatened by forces beyond human understanding", he used dark fantasy as an alternative to horror, as horror was associated with more visceral works. Dark fantasy is sometimes used to describe stories told from a monster's point of view, or that present a more sympathetic view of supernatural beings associated with horror. Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Saint-Germain, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman are early examples of this style of dark fantasy.
This is in contrast to the traditional horror model, which focuses more on the victims and survivors. In a more general sense, dark fantasy is used as a synonym for supernatural horror, to distinguish horror stories that contain elements of the supernatural from those that do not. For example, a story about a werewolf or vampire could be described as dark fantasy, while a story about a serial killer would be horror. Stableford suggests that the type of horror conveyed by fantasy stories such as William Beckford's Vathek and Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death "is more aesthetic than visceral or existential", that such stories should be considered "dark fantasies" rather than the "supernaturalized thrillers" of conventional horror fiction. Karl Edward Wagner is credited for creating the term "dark fantasy" when used in a more fantasy-based context. Wagner used it to describe his fiction about the Gothic warrior Kane. Since "dark fantasy" has sometimes been applied to sword and sorcery and high fantasy fiction that features anti-heroic or morally ambiguous protagonists.
Another good example under this definition of dark fantasy is Michael Moorcock's saga of the albino swordsman Elric. The fantasy work of H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and their emulators have been specified as "dark fantasy", since the imaginary worlds they depicted contain a large number of horror elements. Dark fantasy is used to describe fantasy works by authors that the public associates with the horror genre. Examples of this would be Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, Peter Straub's Shadowland and Clive Barker's Weaveworld. Alternatively, dark fantasy is sometimes used for "darker" fiction written by authors best known for other styles of fantasy. Key would fit here. On Dark Fantasy — author Lucy Snyder's essay on the differences between "pure" horror and dark fantasy
Mary Flannery O'Connor was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist. She wrote thirty-two short stories, as well as a number of reviews and commentaries, she was a Southern writer who wrote in a sardonic Southern Gothic style and relied on regional settings and grotesque characters in violent situations. The unsentimental acceptance or rejection of the limitations or imperfection or difference of these characters underpins the drama, her writing reflected her Roman Catholic faith and examined questions of morality and ethics. Her posthumously compiled Complete Stories won the 1972 U. S. National Book has been the subject of enduring praise. O'Connor was born on March 25, 1925, in Savannah, the only child of Edward Francis O'Connor, a real estate agent, Regina Cline; as an adult, she remembered herself as a "pigeon-toed child with a receding chin and a you-leave-me-alone-or-I'll-bite-you complex."O'Connor and her family moved to Milledgeville, Georgia, in 1940 to live on Andalusia Farm, now a museum dedicated to O'Connor's work.
In 1937, her father was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus. O'Connor attended Peabody High School, where she worked as the school newspaper's art editor and from which she graduated in 1942, she entered Georgia State College for Women in an accelerated three-year program and graduated in June 1945 with a social sciences degree. While at Georgia College, she produced a significant amount of cartoon work for the student newspaper. Many critics have claimed that the idiosyncratic style and approach of these early cartoons shaped her fiction in important ways. In 1946, she was accepted into the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, where she first went to study journalism. While there, she got to know several important writers and critics who lectured or taught in the program, among them Robert Penn Warren, John Crowe Ransom, Robie Macauley, Austin Warren and Andrew Lytle. Lytle, for many years editor of the Sewanee Review, was one of the earliest admirers of her fiction.
He published several of her stories in the Sewanee Review, as well as critical essays on her work. Workshop director Paul Engle was the first to read and comment on the initial drafts of what would become Wise Blood, she received an M. A. from the University of Iowa in 1947. During the summer of 1948, O'Connor continued to work on Wise Blood at Yaddo, an artists' community in Saratoga Springs, New York, where she completed several short stories. In 1949, O'Connor met and accepted an invitation to stay with Robert Fitzgerald and his wife, Sally, in Ridgefield, Connecticut. O'Connor is known for her short stories, she published two books of short stories: A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge. Many of O'Connor's short stories have been re-published in major anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories. O'Connor's two novels are The Violent Bear It Away, she has had several books of her other writings published, her enduring influence is attested by a growing body of scholarly studies of her work.
Fragments exist of an unfinished novel tentatively titled Why Do the Heathen Rage? that draws from several of her short stories, including "Why Do the Heathen Rage?," "The Enduring Chill," and "The Partridge Festival." Her writing career can be divided into four five-year periods of increasing skill and ambition, 1945 to 1964: Postgrad Student: Iowa Writers' Workshop, first published stories, drafts of Wise Blood. Literary influences include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James Early: Wise Blood completed and published. In this period, satirical elements dominate. Influences include Jacques Maritain Mid: A Good Man Is Hard to Find published, The Violent Bear It Away written and published. Influences include Friedrich von Hügel. In this period, the mystical undercurrents begin to have primacy. Mature: Everything That Rises Must Converge written. Influences include Mary Anne Long. In this period, the notion of grotesque is expanded to include the good as grotesque, the grotesque as good.
Regarding her emphasis of the grotesque, O'Connor said: "anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic." Her texts take place in the South and revolve around morally flawed characters interacting with people with disabilities or disabled themselves, while the issue of race appears in the background. Most of her works feature disturbing elements, though she did not like to be characterized as cynical. "I am mighty tired of reading reviews that call A Good Man brutal and sarcastic," she wrote. "The stories are hard but they are hard because there is nothing harder or less sentimental than Christian realism.... When I see these stories described as horror stories I am always amused because the reviewer always has hold of the wrong horror."She felt informed by the sacramental and by the Thomist notion that the created world is charged with God. Yet she would not write apologetic fiction of the kind prevalent in the Catholic literature of the time, explaining that a writer's meaning must be evident in his or her fiction without didacticism.
She wrote ironic, subtly a
Caitlín R. Kiernan
Caitlín Rebekah Kiernan is an Irish-born American author of science fiction and dark fantasy works, including ten novels, many comic books, more than two hundred and fifty published short stories and vignettes. She is the author of scientific papers in the field of paleontology. Kiernan is a two-time recipient of both the World Bram Stoker awards. Born in Dublin, Kiernan moved to the United States as a young child with her mother Susan Ramey Cleveland. Much of her childhood was spent in the small town of Leeds and her early interests included herpetology and fiction writing; as a teenager, she lived in Trussville, and, in high school, began doing volunteer work at the Red Mountain Museum in Birmingham and spending summers on her first archaeological and paleontological digs. Kiernan attended college at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Colorado at Boulder, studying geology and vertebrate paleontology, she held both museum and teaching positions before turning to fiction writing in 1992.
In 1984, Kiernan co-founded the Birmingham Paleontological Society. In 1988, she co-authored a paper describing the new genus and species of mosasaur, Selmasaurus russelli, her first novel, The Five of Cups, was written between June 1992 and early 1993, though it was not published until 2003. In 1998 her first published novel, was released, her first published short story was "Persephone", a dark science fiction tale, released in 1995. Her most recent scientific publications are a paper on the biostratigraphy of Alabama mosasaurs, published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology and "First record of a velociraptorine theropod from the Eastern Gulf Coastal United States." Kiernan's short fiction was selected for Year's Best Fantasy and Horror series, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, The Year's Best Science Fiction, her short stories have been collected in several volumes. To date, her work has been translated into German, French, Spanish, Finnish, Polish, Russian and Japanese. In May 1996, Kiernan was approached by Neil Gaiman and editors at DC/Vertigo Comics to begin writing for The Dreaming, a spin-off from Gaiman's The Sandman.
Kiernan wrote for the title from 1996 until its conclusion in 2001, working with Gaiman and focusing not only on pre-existing characters, but on new characters. In 2012, Kiernan returned to comics, scripting Alabaster: Wolves and continuing with Alabaster: Grimmer Tales and Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, the Bird, she wrote the novelisation for the Beowulf film. Josh Boone's Mid-World Productions has optioned both The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl to develop into feature films. Kiernan is writing the screenplay for The Red Tree. Boone will be writing The Drowning Girl. Judy Cairo will be producing. In her blog Kiernan stated, "A few people have asked questions about the films and preserving the queerness of the novels; this is something. Though no details can be released yet and nothing is certain, the hope is that we can cast a transgender actress as Abalyn Armitage." In her blog she stated: I'm getting tired of telling people that I'm not a'horror' writer. I'm getting tired of them not believing.
Most of them seem suspicious of my motives. I've never tried to fool anyone. I've said I don't write genre'horror.' A million, billion times have I said that. It's not. It's. You may as well call it awe fiction. I don't think of horror as a genre. I think of it – to paraphrase Doug Winter – as an emotion, no one emotion will characterize my fiction. Additionally, much of her earlier work, such as Silk, is set among or alludes to the aesthetics of the goth and punk rock subcultures, elements which are absent in her novels. Kiernan has stated, regarding the role of plot in creative writing: "anyone can come up with the artifice/conceit of a'good story.' Story bores me. Which is; because that's purposeful. I have no real interest in plot. Atmosphere, language, theme, etc. that's the stuff that fascinates me. Ulysses should have freed writers from plot."In his review of her novel 2009 The Red Tree, H. P. Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi writes: "Kiernan ranks with the most distinctive stylists in our field – Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Dunsany, Thomas Ligotti.
With Ligotti's regrettable retreat into fictional silence, hers is now the voice of weird fiction." In their introduction to The Weird and Jeff VanderMeer write that Kiernan has "become the best weird writer of her generation." Between 1996 and 1997, Kiernan fronted an Athens, Georgia-based "goth-folk-blues band," Death's Little Sister, named for Neil Gaiman's character, Delirium. She was the band's vocalist and lyricist, the group enjoyed some success on local college radio and played shows in Athens and Atlanta. Other members included Barry Dillard, Michael Graves, Shelly Ross. Kiernan has said in interviews that she left the band in February 1997 because of her increased responsibilities writing for DC Comics and because her novel Silk had sold, she was involved in Crimson Stain Mystery, a studio project, two years later. CSM produced one EP to accompany a s
Ray Douglas Bradbury was an American author and screenwriter. He worked in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction and mystery fiction. Known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, his science-fiction and horror-story collections, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, I Sing the Body Electric, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th- and 21st-century American writers. While most of his best known work is in speculative fiction, he wrote in other genres, such as the coming-of-age novel Dandelion Wine and the fictionalized memoir Green Shadows, White Whale. Recipient of numerous awards, including a 2007 Pulitzer Citation, Bradbury wrote and consulted on screenplays and television scripts, including Moby Dick and It Came from Outer Space. Many of his works were adapted to comic book and film formats. Upon his death in 2012, The New York Times called Bradbury "the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream". Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois, to Esther Bradbury, a Swedish immigrant, Leonard Spaulding Bradbury, a power and telephone lineman of English ancestry.
He was given the middle name "Douglas" after the actor Douglas Fairbanks. Bradbury was related to the American Shakespeare scholar Douglas Spaulding and descended from Mary Bradbury, tried at one of the Salem witch trials in 1692. Bradbury was surrounded by an extended family during his early childhood and formative years in Waukegan. An aunt read him short stories; this period provided foundations for his stories. In Bradbury's works of fiction, 1920s Waukegan becomes Illinois; the Bradbury family lived in Tucson, during 1926–1927 and 1932–1933 while their father pursued employment, each time returning to Waukegan. They settled in Los Angeles in 1934 when Bradbury was 14 years old; the family arrived with only US$40, which paid for rent and food until his father found a job making wire at a cable company for $14 a week. This meant that they could stay, Bradbury—who was in love with Hollywood—was ecstatic. Bradbury was active in the drama club, he roller-skated through Hollywood in hopes of meeting celebrities.
Among the creative and talented people Bradbury met were special-effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen and radio star George Burns. Bradbury's first pay as a writer, at age 14, was for a joke he sold to George Burns to use on the Burns and Allen radio show. Throughout his youth, Bradbury was an avid reader and writer and knew at a young age that he was "going into one of the arts." Bradbury began writing his own stories at age 11, during the Great Depression — sometimes writing on the only available paper, butcher paper. In his youth, he spent much time in the Carnegie library in Waukegan, reading such authors as H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe. At 12, Bradbury began writing traditional horror stories and said he tried to imitate Poe until he was about 18. In addition to comics, he loved Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan of the Apes Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series; the Warlord of Mars impressed him so much. The young Bradbury was a cartoonist and loved to illustrate, he drew his own Sunday panels.
He listened to the radio show Chandu the Magician, every night when the show went off the air, he would sit and write the entire script from memory. As a teen in Beverly Hills, he visited his mentor and friend science-fiction writer Bob Olsen, sharing ideas and maintaining contact. In 1936, at a secondhand bookstore in Hollywood, Bradbury discovered a handbill promoting meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society. Excited to find there were others sharing his interest, Bradbury joined a weekly Thursday-night conclave at age 16. Bradbury cited H. G. Jules Verne as his primary science-fiction influences. Bradbury identified with Verne, saying, "He believes the human being is in a strange situation in a strange world, he believes that we can triumph by behaving morally". Bradbury admitted that he stopped reading science-fiction books in his 20s and embraced a broad field of literature that included Alexander Pope and poet John Donne. Bradbury had just graduated from high school when he met Robert Heinlein 31 years old.
Bradbury recalled, "He was well known, he wrote humanistic science fiction, which influenced me to dare to be human instead of mechanical."In young adulthood Bradbury read stories published in Astounding Science Fiction, read everything by Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, the early writings of Theodore Sturgeon and A. E. van Vogt. The family lived about four blocks from the Fox Uptown Theatre on Western Avenue in Los Angeles, the flagship theater for MGM and Fox. There, Bradbury learned how to sneak in and watched previews every week, he rollerskated there, as well as all over town, as he put it, "hell-bent on getting autographs from glamorous stars. It was glorious." Among stars the young Bradbury was thrilled to encounter were Norma Shearer and Hardy, Ronald Colman. Sometimes, he spent all day in front of Paramount Pictures or Columbia Pictures and skated to the Brown Derby to watch the stars who came and went for meals, he recounted seeing Cary Grant, Marlene Dietrich, Mae West, whom he learned made a regular appearance every Friday night, bodyguard in tow.
Bradbury relates the following meeting with Sergei Bondarchuk, director of Soviet epic film series War and Peace, at a Hollywood award ceremony in Bondarchuk's honor: They forme
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a Russian-born American novelist, poet and entomologist. His first nine novels were in Russian, but he achieved international prominence after he began writing English prose. Nabokov's Lolita was ranked fourth in the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels, he was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction seven times. Nabokov was an expert composer of chess problems. Nabokov was born on 22 April 1899, in Saint Petersburg, to a wealthy and prominent family of the Russian nobility that traced its roots to the 14th-century Tatar prince Nabok Murza, who entered into the service of the Tsars, from whom the family name is derived, his father was the liberal lawyer and journalist Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov and his mother was the heiress Yelena Ivanovna née Rukavishnikova, the granddaughter of a millionaire gold-mine owner. His father was a leader of the pre-Revolutionary liberal Constitutional Democratic Party and wrote numerous books and articles about criminal law and politics.
His cousins included the composer Nicolas Nabokov. His paternal grandfather, Dmitry Nabokov, was Russia's Justice Minister during the reign of Alexander II, his paternal grandmother was the Baltic German Baroness Maria von Korff. Through his father's German ancestry, he was related to the composer Carl Heinrich Graun. Vladimir was the family's eldest and favorite child, with four younger siblings: Sergey, Olga and Kirill. Sergey was killed in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945 after publicly denouncing Hitler's regime. Ayn Rand recalled Olga as a supporter of constitutional monarchy who first awakened Rand's interest in politics. Elena, who in years became Vladimir's favorite sibling, published her correspondence with him in 1985 and was an important source for biographers of Nabokov. Nabokov spent his childhood and youth in Saint Petersburg and at the country estate Vyra near Siverskaya, south of the city, his childhood, which he called "perfect" and "cosmopolitan", was remarkable in several ways.
The family spoke Russian and French in their household, Nabokov was trilingual from an early age. He related that the first English book his mother read to him was Misunderstood by Florence Montgomery. In fact, much to his patriotic father's disappointment, Nabokov could read and write in English before he could in Russian. In Speak, Memory Nabokov recalls numerous details of his privileged childhood, his ability to recall in vivid detail memories of his past was a boon to him during his permanent exile, providing a theme that echoes from his first book Mary to works such as Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle. While the family was nominally Orthodox, there was little religious fervor, Vladimir was not forced to attend church after he lost interest. In 1916, Nabokov inherited the estate Rozhdestveno, next to Vyra, from his uncle Vasily Ivanovich Rukavishnikov, but lost it in the October Revolution one year later. Nabokov's adolescence was the period in which his first serious literary endeavors were made.
In 1916, Nabokov published Stikhi, a collection of 68 Russian poems. At the time he was attending Tenishev school in Saint Petersburg, where his literature teacher Vladimir Vasilievich Gippius had been critical of his literary accomplishments; some time after the publication of Stikhi, Zinaida Gippius, renowned poet and first cousin of Vladimir Gippius, told Nabokov's father at a social event, "Please tell your son that he will never be a writer." After the 1917 February Revolution, Nabokov's father became a secretary of the Russian Provisional Government in Saint Petersburg. After the October Revolution, the family was forced to flee the city for Crimea, not expecting to be away for long, they lived at a friend's estate and in September 1918 moved to Livadiya, at the time part of the Ukrainian Republic. After the withdrawal of the German Army in November 1918 and the defeat of the White Army, the Nabokovs sought exile in western Europe, they settled in England and Vladimir enrolled in Trinity College of the University of Cambridge, first studying zoology Slavic and Romance languages.
His examination results on the first part of the Tripos, taken at the end of second year, were a starred first. He sat the second part of the exam in his fourth year, just after his father's death. Nabokov feared he might fail the exam, his final examination result was second-class, his BA conferred in 1922. Nabokov drew on his Cambridge experiences to write several works, including the novels Glory and The Real Life of Sebastian Knight. In 1920, Nabokov's family moved to Berlin, where his father set up the émigré newspaper Rul'. Nabokov followed them to Berlin two years after completing his studies at Cambridge. In March 1922, Nabokov's father was fatally shot in Berlin by the Russian monarchist Pyotr Shabelsky-Bork as he was trying to shield the real target, Pavel Milyukov, a leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party-in-exile; this mistaken, violent death echoed again and again in Nabokov's fi
Drawing Blood is a 1993 horror novel by American writer Poppy Z. Brite. Something of a haunted house tale, the novel was titled Birdland but the publisher retitled it to make a thin connection to Brite's first novel, Lost Souls, a vampire tale; the novel concerns Trevor McGee, a comic book artist and sole survivor of a family murder-suicide, Zachary Bosch, a bisexual hacker, their arrival at McGee's old family home in Missing Mile, North Carolina, a fictional town featured in Brite's previous novel, Lost Souls. Twenty-five-year-old Trevor McGee is haunted by an event in his past in which his underground artist father, brutally murdered Trevor's mother and younger brother with a hammer before killing himself, leaving Trevor alive. Young Trevor was placed in an unhappy state home, where he discovered his own talent for drawing but remained alone, obsessed with the question of why he was allowed to live. Now as an adult, he travels back to Missing Mile, North Carolina, to search for answers in the abandoned house where the murders took place.
In New Orleans, Zachary Bosch is a nineteen-year-old computer hacker on the run from the law after his online misdeeds attract the notice of the FBI. Traveling through the South, he too finds himself in Missing Mile, where he meets and falls in love with Trevor; the two young men become more entwined as Zach starts to questions Trevor's grip on reality. Their love affair culminates when one night, while tripping on psilocybin mushrooms, Trevor has an out-of-body experience where he is propelled into the past and speaks to his father on the night of the murders, he realizes that somehow the presence of his adult self in the past caused his father to spare the life of five-year-old Trevor, meaning that he is the cause of his own endless quest. Upon waking, Trevor attempts to murder Zach, but Zach manages to talk him down until Trevor breaks his own drawing hand in order to keep himself from harming Zach. Back in New Orleans, Zach's friend Eddy has figured out Zach's location based on clues Zach planted for her in the local newspaper.
Realizing that the FBI must have done the same, she races to North Carolina to warn Zach that the police are in town searching for him. Trevor offers to go on the run with Zach, their friends in Missing Mile help smuggle the two lovers out of town where they board a private aircraft to Jamaica. Safe, they begin a new life together; the characters Trevor and Zachary reappear in Brite's short story "Vine of the Soul", published in 1998 in Disco 2000, edited by Sarah Champion. When a man set himself on fire in the Los Angeles, California location of a commercial mailbox company, copies of this novel were saturated with the smell of burnt flesh, they were sold by book dealer Barry R. Levin as collectibles
Exquisite Corpse (novel)
Exquisite Corpse is a horror novel by American writer Poppy Z. Brite; the protagonist of the story is Andrew Compton, an English convicted homosexual serial killer and necrophiliac. Brite has described it as "a necrophilic, serial killer love story that explores the seamy politics of victimhood and disease." The novel unfolds in alternating chapters from the points of view of the four main characters. Andrew Compton, a convicted serial killer, escapes his UK prison cell in a self-induced cataleptic trance and escapes to New Orleans' French Quarter to start a new life. Seeking new victims, he instead meets Jay Byrne, a wealthy recluse, a serial killer, as well as a cannibal; the two killers at first intend to victimize one another, but upon realizing their similar proclivities, instead begin a torrid affair based on sex and murder. Meanwhile, Tran, a Vietnamese teen, has been driven out of his home after his parents learn that he is gay. Tran, who had a casual acquaintance with Jay, takes refuge at Jay's home one night.
The two have a brief sexual encounter. Jay is attracted to Tran but refuses to pursue him any further because he cannot conceive of a relationship that does not end in death; when Jay introduces the beautiful Tran to Andrew, Andrew becomes obsessed with the idea of murdering and eating him. Jay, though reluctant, agrees to Andrew's plan, in part to rid himself of the temptation of falling in love with Tran; the two kidnap Tran and begin to torture him to death. After learning that he is HIV-positive, writer Lucas Ransom reacts by rejecting all his former friends and breaking up with Tran. Embittered by his illness, Lucas vents his frustration through his alternate persona "Lush Rimbaud", host of a pirate radio program where Lucas rails at society's denial of gay men and the AIDS crisis. Soon this outlet isn't enough, Lucas, sensing that death is approaching, becomes fixated on reconciling with Tran. Soon Luke realizes that Tran has fallen into Andrew and Jay's deadly hands, the goal becomes not reuniting with Tran, but rescuing him.
Arriving too late to save Tran, Lucas murders confronts Andrew. Recognizing that Lucas is on the verge of death, Andrew refuses to kill him, instead offering him several means to commit suicide. Lucas realizes that his life, no matter how short, is still of value to him and flees, telling no one what he has seen. After consuming Jay, Andrew leaves New Orleans to continue his murderous career, while Lucas, returning home, vows to spend the remainder of his life writing a novel to try to make sense of what he has witnessed. In 1991, Brite signed a contract to write three novels for Delacorte Books, the first two being Lost Souls and Drawing Blood, with Exquisite Corpse set to be the third. In early 1995, Brite turned in the finished manuscript of Exquisite Corpse and was informed that Delacorte would be unable to publish the novel due to its violent content. Soon afterwards, Brite received word that Penguin the author's UK publisher, had declined the novel; the work bounced from publisher to publisher, who praised the novel's writing but rejected it, calling its subject matter "too nihilistic, too extreme, a bloodbath without justification".
The book was purchased by Simon & Schuster in the USA and Orion Publishing Group in the UK