Way back when, I was a book reviewer for New York Newsday, and because I was writing novels with a supernatural bent, I was often assigned the more far-out and speculative books that came their way. I remember getting a galley of Clive Barker’s Weaveworld, and being asked to give it a fairly lengthy review.
Now I was already well acquainted with Barker’s previous work—the short stories in the Books of Blood, the Faustian novel The Damnation Game—and had been bowled over by their originality and imagination. They had really opened doors in my own mind—letting me see that all sorts of things, most notably a strongly erotic element, could also be permitted in the kind of fiction I was writing. I didn’t have to restrict myself to musty Gothic conventions, or hidebound effects. Barker’s books and stories were fresh, and contemporary, and scary as hell.