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?