Another vintage horror fiction paperback cover that has precisely nothing to do with its contents. This May 1979 Jove reprint of Ramsey Campbell's first non-Lovecraftian short story collection Demons By Daylight features some strikingly vivid cover art. But as I recall, there are exactly no snake-demons horny for hot human ladies in silver space-age bikinis in these tales. Somebody forgot to tell artist unknown that. While it would indeed catch a bookbuyer's eye, it's a little Heavy Metal for me.
Oh well the artist probably had no idea his painting would be used for a collection of shorts about unsettling urban decay, pasty-skinned and alienated Englishmen, and quiet, oblique madnesses that flitter at the edges of a bright noon and beyond. I read this Carroll & Graf edition from 1990 over a decade ago, trying to get back into horror fiction, but was distinctly underwhelmed and very much disappointed, as I knew I'd liked a lot of Campbell's HPL-style stories. These seemed fuzzy and unfocused and quite tepid. Honestly Demons by Daylight (along with Caitlyn Kiernan's Silk and John Shirley's Wetbones) put me off horror for many years. Fortunately, I came back to it... thanks, ironically, to his Dark Companions collection.
Clark Ashton Smith
5 hours ago