Sunday, June 3, 2012

Inspirations: Finding & Breaking

SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER owes a very great debt to one single collection of ghost tales: THE CASEBOOK OF CARNACKI THE GHOST-FINDER. I was lead to the book by Alan Moore, in his LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, and spent nine spooky evenings shut up in a quiet reading area all alone, devouring each story.

Hodgson's device here was to have his stories narrated by a young man - basically Hodgson himself - who would, along with a clutch of friends, visit the esteemed Carnacki at the gentlemen's home and be regaled by the latest adventure of the Ghost Finder. So, in effect, they are "stories within stories," a device I tried to emulate to some degree in SGT. JANUS.

Unlike my stories, Carnacki's bulwarks against the darkness sometimes turned out to be very human, very living examples of skulduggery, not actual supernatural phenomenon - but you really didn't know until the end of each story. But, never fear, Carnacki dispatched stupid criminals as easily as pesky poltergeists.

I highly recommend you pick up and dip into THE CASEBOOK OF CARNACKI THE GHOST-FINDER and uncover one of the main wellsprings of inspiration for SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER. Carnacki found 'em, but Janus breaks 'em.

All content (c) Jim Beard 2012

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  1. Very cool. Years ago, my writing pal Jim Chambers wrote a brand new Carnacki story for an anthology and it was my first introduction to the character, via these new tales. I do need to pick up this originals.

  2. It would be a personal thrill for me to write a Carnacki story, so I can imagine what it was like for him.