“Redon's works are Vehicles bound under oath for voyages to Elsewhere.” 

Heisman, 1884


Look at that flower. It hides a marvelous secret in its calyx. The perfume that evaporates from it does not diminish by its intensity the mystery enclosed in its heart. Here, it is the symbol of joy.

Victor-Émile Michelet, 1900




“The Germans! Ouf! Everything with them is en gros. A theme must be long, regardless of its contents or value; the longer the better. Then another interminable episode and then another endless theme. Then, after sixteen quarts of beer, they begin a development so long, so long, that there is scarcely room in this house to hold it. Take, for instance, the symphonies of Mahler with its thousand voices and whips, submarines and whatnot. Or Monsieur Strauss, who is clever in that he knows how to write nothingness itself.” 

Claude Debussy, 1913



“Debussy's 'little oratorio' The Blessed Damozel offers only floating visions, soft sighs of souls, vague calls of elves or other impalpable beings." 
Adolfe Jullian, 1900 



“The dark stranger now began to speak of the true craft of song in very extraordinary language, which itself almost sounded like strange songs hitherto unheard.” 

E.T.A. Hoffmann, 1819



“Any sounds in any combination and in any succession are henceforth free to be used in a musical continuity."

Claude Debussy, 1893


“It is the spirit of anarchism that reigns in France in the artistic moment, a need for destruction, a sort of delirium that wants to abolish everything that exists.”

Gabriel Mourey, 1899


“As everybody knows, one never sees the sun in one’s dreams, even though one is often aware of a light far more luminous.”

Gérard de Nerval, 1853



“Creation is composed of an infinite number of universes, separated from one another by abysms of nothingness, and the world is only a portal by means of which errant souls are precipitated into glory and become stars in their turn. Eternity is endless and the number of universes is similarly unlimited. To the right and left, on high and down below, everything vibrates, everything palpitates, everything exists, and always progressing, because you cannot only take a single step forward.”

Jane de La Vaudère, 1893


"Who is this suspicious ‘person’ with no head? I asked myself. A symbol of course, what else! But what did the symbol want to tell me? That disaster was approaching, I sensed."

Gustav Meyrink, 1927


“Behind the veil of all the hieratic and mystical allegories of ancient doctrines, behind the darkness and strange ordeals of all initiations, under the seal of all sacred writings, in the ruins of Nineveh or Thebes, on the crumbling stones of old temples, there are found indications of a doctrine which is everywhere the same and everywhere carefully concealed.

Éliphas Lévi, 1854



“I may have eaten something rotten, but I am a God.

Charles Baudelaire, 1860


“Debussy not only heard sounds that no other ear was able to register, but he found a way of expressing things that are not customarily said. He had an almost fanatical conviction that a musical score does not begin with the composer, but that it emerges out of space, through centuries of time, passes before him, and goes on, fading into the distance (as it came) with no sense of finality.”  

George Copeland, 1955


“And he said aloud: ‘This is the future.’ Suddenly, without any reason, this thought came to him and flew through the night like a bright meteor.”   

Hanns Heinz Ewers, 1910


“The Sâr Peladan surrounded by Rosicrucians took possession of the studio. One smelled incense and the candles’ waxen tears; a lectern held an old Bible. On the dark grey walls I had written Arab proverbs in chalk and quotations from Shakespeare, profundities from Plato. Ladies with their hair in precise braids and their waists thin as stalks sighed and palpitated. Men smoked enormous pipes. Their velveteen suits, stained with ink, paint or clay, carried the signature of their profession. I was happy.”

Georgette Leblanc, 1911


“Wagner, if one may be permitted a little of the grandiloquence that suits the man, was a beautiful sunset that has been mistaken for the dawn."

Claude Debussy, 1910



“Anyone who is sensitive and still open to spiritual development can, during the time of this great war, distinctly feel powerful new forces flowing into them. These come from the many dying soldiers”

Gustav Meyrink, 1917



“My originality consists in bringing to life improbable beings, and making them live according to the laws of probability, by putting the logic of the visible at the service of the invisible.” 

Odilon Redon, 1915


“Prophetic sounds and loud, arise forever from us, and from all ruin, unto the wise, as melody from Memnon to the Sun.”

Edgar Poë, 1833



“We are in the full assembly of the Sabbat of Sabbats here, and I put it to you that every evening, every arena of Parisian society—including the Opéra and the gatherings of the great and the good of France—is a rendezvous of necromantic mages.”

Jean Lorrain, 1891

"Space is swarming with microbes, is it any more surprising that it should also abound in spirits and spectres?"

J.-k. Huysmans, 1891



“Soon the world’s clock will strike twelve; the number on the dial is red, is dipped in blood, and by that you will recognize it.” 

Gustav Meyrink, 1916


“It’s devoutly to be wished that this ardor for finding ways of bringing art before the public should be cooled, otherwise there will soon be more fake artists than real art—and I’m not even certain this moment hasn’t already arrived.”

Claude Debussy, 1891


“Nothing wrong with Debussy that a few weeks in the open air wouldn’t cure.”

Carl Ruggles, 1915



“My eyes were strange and vague, a gray sea of boredom seemed to have poured into it entirely, my head leaned over my body, like a flower on its stem. I thought I was a fantastic character of Edgar Poe.” 

Liane de Pougy, 1899


“Among the first composers to be instrumental in introducing this overtone of the ancient Atlantean music was Debussy. In more occult terms he was unconsciously used by the Higher Ones to carry over Fourth Race sound-vibrations into the Fifth.”

Cyril Scott, 1926



“They were all black magicians; their miracles crept out of their brains.

Hanns Heinz Ewers, 1911



“I love Wagner; but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung up by his tail outside of a window, and trying to stick to the panes of glass with its claws. There is an odd grating on the glass which I find at the same time strange, irritating, and singularly harmonious.”

Charles Baudelaire, 1851



"Why should I want to vote? I have not time to vote. If I were a suffragist I should want to do alllecture, write for it, live it. I can’t do anything in partI must do it all."

Mary Garden, 1912


"The infinite prince, in creating, speaks of himself to himself."

Eliphas Levi, 1854


"There should be in the world a centre of scientific and philosophical research, where the most notable scholars, in possession of new ideas, could readily experiment the value of the hypotheses constructed either by themselves or by their disciples. A centre from which nothing would drive away the good will. A centre wherein a world record could be kept of the entire range of the progressive imagination of man, and where nothing usefully conceived by the human brain would be lost. A centre from which economic and practical knowledge would flow to all parts of the world. A centre and a city outside of all historical and social quarrels, of all economic and national rivalries, a centre belonging, without possible exception, to all. To the Spirit of all. To the Spirit only."

Paul Adam, 1893


"You ask me, madame, if I believe in the occult? Every poet does to some extent, sometimes without wanting to.”

Pierre Louÿs, 1893


“I can make bronze serpents move, marble statues laugh, and dogs speak. I will show you an immense quantity of gold, I will set up kings, you shall see nations adoring me. I can walk on the clouds and on the waves; pass through mountains; assume the appearance of a young man, or of an old man; of a tiger, or of an ant; take your face, give you mine; and drive the thunderbolt. Do you hear?”

Gustav Flaubert, 1874



"These composers, they’re all insane, all sick in the head!” 

Maurice Maeterlinck, 1901

"Then Debussy would sit at the piano, and for an hour or so he would improvise. I have never heard such music in my life, such music as came from the piano at those moments. How beautiful it was, and haunting, and nobody but Lilly and I ever heard it! Debussy never put those improvisations down on paper. They went back to that strange place they had come from, never to return. At those moments. Debussy was in that far off world of his, inspired, as if in a trance..And then, with that suddeness of his, he would get up and come over to speak to us, and that was the end of it."

Mary Garden, 1926


“I believe that it is dangerous to initiate laymen into the secrets of musical chemistry. Music really ought to have been a hermetical science, embedded in texts so hard and laborious to decipher as to discourage the herd of people who treat it as casually as they do a handkerchief.”

Claude Debussy, 1893


 What is God?

 The ensemble of Forces, stammers the shrill and musical voice. 
  What is a force?
  That which creates movement, heat, electricity, all the states and aspects of nature, and in consequence, the universal physical laws, the attractive relationships of heavenly bodies, nebulae, suns, planets, vapors, seas, waters, vegetation, plasmatic cells, mollusks, fish, amphibians, quadrupeds and humans.
  Did God, then, create humans?
  Yes, through the series of the three kingdoms, and in order that humans, in their turn, in accordance with the evolution of races, would know and adore the harmony of Forces.
  What do you know about Adam and Eve?
  Adam is the red Earth, the incandescent Earth before the gradual cooling of the planet. Eve is Aïscha, or the volitional faculty, the energy that permits the evolution of life, from the humblest cell of vegetal plasma to the scientist and the hero. Because of that, the priests taught that Eve was taken from Adam’s rib—which is to say that human intelligence was extracted by the evolution of cooling matter.

Paul Adam, 1891



 (at Clarion West 1990, as recorded in an old Mead notebook recently unearthed):

10) A novel is like a river; trace it back to many different springs.

9) There is nothing like smell to awake memory.

8) Larger sentences in exposition. Shorter in dialog.  Familiar words will always be perceived as shorter.

7) Each of you is going to die over and over  You will get reviews that will rip your guts out. If you can't raise yourself, nobody's going to raise you.
6) When you doubt your improvements, you're done revising.

5) Add meat and a few carrots to the soup—not water.

4) When your characters are talking in your ears, you're not getting crazy, you're getting good.

3) All the joys in my life have always been Italian.

2) Have any of you spent any time in a pscyho ward? If you get a chance, do it.

1) I always wanted to be Link Hogthrob.



“Distinctive and imaginative, a debut of immense promise.”—Kirkus Reviews on CERES STORM 

“Herter evokes an atmosphere of youthful adventure in this fast-moving action fantasy."—Library Journal on CERES STORM

“Through voyages on haunted spaceships, encounters with sentient plagues and descents into ancient tombs, bemused readers will sympathize with naïve Daric as one enigmatic incident follows another, characters shift from flesh to hologram to crystal to mechanical insect, and reality encompasses dream worlds, shared hallucinations and miniature cities. The book's a grand exercise in weirdness, cloaked in a coming of age story. It's a unique reading experience.” —Starlog on CERES STORM 

“A marvelous fantasy.”—SF Weekly on EVENING'S EMPIRE 

“Herter’s blending of contemporary fantasy and the Verne opera-in-progress is seamless and intense. . . an exquisite, subtle performance.” —Booklist on EVENING'S EMPIRE 

“Evening’s Empire is a literary fantasy novel of grace and quiet strength, with echoes of Gene Wolfe, Jonathan Carroll, and even a little of H.P. Lovecraft.” —Elliott Bay Booknotes on EVENING'S EMPIRE 

“This epic unfolds in a seductive faerie tongue as we follow the perilous transformation of Daric from an adolescent boy into a primal galactic force. We flee with him along elusive coordinates as he deals with constructs that aid or hinder him, and one chromatic scene follows another as he escapes creatures who would bind him to their own uses. And so we move to a shattering climax. A beautiful read.”— Charles Harness on CERES STORM
“Ceres Storm is sublime, and though the language is sparse, it is rich and poetic, swinging easily between dreamlike perceptions and hard-edged reason. This astonishing debut leaves me hungry for more.”—Elliott Bay Booknotes on CERES STORM 

“The Luminous Depths has a richness of prose and a density of allusion and ideas reminiscent of authors like Aldiss and Wolfe -- and, incidentally, it is a page-turning cracker of a horror story. Outside his homeland, Karel Capek may be remembered primarily through his legacy of the term “Robot”. It is Herter’s achievement in this novella to lead us through the narrow window of that single chthonic word to a rich evocation of a fragile, doomed period of Central European history”— Stephen Baxter on THE LUMINOUS DEPTHS

Fantastic!—Peter Straub on ONE WHO DISAPPEARED