A charmingly gothic, fiendishly funny Faustian tale about a brilliant scientist who makes a deal with the Devil, twice.
Johannes Cabal sold his soul years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. Now he wants it back. Amused and slightly bored, Satan proposes a little wager: Johannes has to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever.
This time for real. Accepting the bargain, Jonathan is given one calendar year and a traveling carnival to complete his task. With little time to waste, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire to help him run his nefarious road show, resulting in mayhem at every turn.
Johannes Cabal, necromancer of some little infamy, returns in this riotously clever and terrifically twisted tale of murder and international intrigue.
In this genre-twisting novel, infamous necromancer Johannes Cabal, after beating the Devil and being reunited with his soul, leads us on another raucous journey in a little-known corner of the world. This time he’s on the run from the local government.
Stealing the identity of a minor bureaucrat, Cabal takes passage on the Princess Hortense, a passenger aeroship that is leaving the country. The deception seems perfect, and Cabal looks forward to a quiet trip and a clean escape, until he comes face-to-face with Leonie Barrow, an enemy from the old days who could blow his cover. But when a fellow passenger throws himself to his death, or at least that is how it appears, Cabal begins to investigate out of curiosity. His minor efforts result in a vicious attempt on his own life—and then the gloves come off.
Cabal and Leonie—the only woman to ever match wits with him—reluctantly team up to discover the murderer. Before they are done, there will be more narrow escapes, involving sword fighting and newfangled flying machines. There will be massive destruction, not to mention resurrected dead . . .
Steampunk meets the classic Sherlockian mystery in this rip-roaring adventure where anything could happen . . . and does.
Beyond the wall of sleep lies the Dreamlands, a world formed by dreams, but not a dream itself. For countless millennia, it has been explored only by those with a certain detachment from mundane reality, its strange seas navigated and its vast mountains climbed by philosophers, mystics, and poets. Well, those halcyon days are over, beatniks.
Johannes Cabal is coming.
Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy, is employed by the mysterious Fear Institute to lead an expedition into the Dreamlands, an expedition to hunt and destroy the dread Phobic Animus, the font of terrors, the very source of all the world’s fear. They will enter exotic lands where magic is common and monsters abound. Cabal will encounter witches, vile abominations, and far too many zebras.
And, when they finally come close to their goal, Cabal will have to face his own nightmares. But for a man who communes easily with devils and the dead, surely there is nothing left to fear. . . .
“Howard’s affectionate, witty homage to Lovecraft’s dream stories, complete with early-20th-century setting and language, is an enjoyably macabre comic adventure, and his antihero Cabal is, for all his overweening self-confidence, an engaging protagonist whose heart is not quite as hard as he would like to pretend.” —Publishers Weekly
“Howard’s characters, relentless imagination, twisting plotlines, and use of language make the Johannes Cabal series a real pleasure to read, and The Fear Institute is the best Cabal yet.” —Richard Kadrey, author of the Sandman Slim novels
“Comedy meets high-concept fantasy in Howard’s latest Johannes Cabal outing. … Genre fans will appreciate Howard’s attention to world building, while more general readers will simply enjoy all the horrific fun.” —Booklist