It’s September 30; do you know where Snuff is?

Yes, that’s right!  Tonight, Steve and I begin our annual, chapter-a-night read of Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October.

For those who are not familiar, the book is sort of an advent calendar for Halloween, with each chapter reporting on the events of a single day in the month of October, until we reach The Biggest Day of All.

Because this is not the story of just any Halloween.  No, the book describes the days leading up to one of the Halloweens, when there is a full moon on the night itself.  On this rare night, real danger arises, and the fate of the world is decided by a handful of odd people, and their companion animals.  Will the way be opened for change?  Or will it remain closed, and the world as we know it remain the same?

No, I’m not going to tell you.

People have told me that it’s impossible to read the book one chapter a day.  Steve and I have never had any problem doing so, across the decade or so since we’ve adopted the tradition — which was first brought to our attention by Vicky Brown of fond memory,  and other denizens of the Friends of Liad mailing list.  We alternate reading a chapter aloud each night, after flipping a dollar coin for the privilege of reading the introductory chapter, which takes place on September 30.

A Night in the Lonesome October was out of print for a number of years (our preferred copy is a slightly decrepit hardcover, published by AvoNova in 1993).  A couple years ago, it was reprinted in trade paperback by the Chicago Review Press, as part of its Rediscovered Classics series, so you can have your own copy, or, in our case, a back-up copy, for the sad day when the hardcover becomes too frail to read.

So!  Who’s with us this October?


10 thoughts on “It’s September 30; do you know where Snuff is?”

  1. I understand that it will also be available in e-format from Amazon, as from tomorrow. You can perhaps imagine what my early morning activity will be.

  2. I’m joining you – on 1 October as that’s the date the Kindle version comes out in the UK, and “real” copies (only paperback) here are not for the thrifty… This will be my first time reading the book, so wish me luck sticking to just one chapter a day from 2 October onwards!

  3. Last year was the first year I succeeded in reading one chapter a day through the whole month, instead of “accidentally” continuing on. Hoping to repeat the feat this year…we’ll see!

  4. Sounds like a fun read, but Amazon US is making no promises about a Kindle edition tomorrow. Maybe I can get my hands on a copy for next October, and maybe by then my to-be-read queue will be somewhat shorter so I won’t have to commit tsundoku.

  5. Whelp, I couldn’t find an electronic copy, so I’ve exchanged a sum of my latest paycheck for an (acceptable condition) dead tree hardcover version via eBay. Due at my location around the 11th, so I’ll at least be able to catch up with you well before the big night.

  6. There are people claiming to just purchased electronic copies, but I’m with you — I can’t figure out where they’re getting them, either. Hope your book arrives on time — or even ahead of time.

  7. The PDF I am borrowing from Open Library is a scanned version of a hardcopy with the great color cover and line drawings included. The drawback is that I have to return it after 14 days. I will take a couple of days to savor it and then return it for the next person on waiting list to enjoy it in October. Would love to actually purchase my own ebook, but I am thrilled to be able to borrow it. Highly recommend Open Library.

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