The Dark and Puzzling Present: The Medusa Deep, Book 2 of The Midnight Games by David Neil Lee

The Dark and Puzzling Present: The Medusa Deep, Book 2 of The Midnight Games by David Neil Lee

The Midnight Games (Wolsak and Wynn, 2016) and its sequel
The Medusa Deep (Poplar Press, 2021). Covers by Rachel Rosen, unknown

In his first guest post for Black Gate way back in 2016, The Midnight Games and Why I Wrote Them, David Neil Lee talked about his debut novel and the sequel he hoped to write some day.

For the past twelve years my family and I have lived a couple of blocks from Ivor Wynne, the local football stadium, and we hear all the noise from the Tiger Cats games. So I began a novel in which my protagonist hears a racket from the stadium at night, which he thinks of as “midnight games.” However, they are not games at all, but the cruel ceremonies of a local cult which is trying to summon to earth the Great Old Ones of the H.P. Lovecraft Cthulhu Mythos; trying with what turns out to be a fair degree of success….

What sort of monsters does the cult summon? — well how about those hideous prickly house centipedes that I scoop out of the bathtub of our old house from spring till fall every year. I don’t kill them, I put them in a jar and throw them in a garden — what if they were some sort of hmm, spawn of Yog-Sothoth, summoned here by the games? What about if one of them thrived in our garden, and grew and grew and grew?

I know what you’re thinking. “Dammit that sounds like fun. Why don’t I do that?” Well, if you’re a Black Gate reader, chances are that you do do that…

The publisher wants a sequel, and regardless of sales or income, I am determined to write her one as soon as I’m done my dissertation. Already I’m thinking of taking poor Nate farther and farther into a universe of Lovecraftian horror, with the Resurrection Church, thwarted in Hamilton, searching the BC coast for the long-sunken Nazi spaceship Oberth A-7 (what? — never heard of it, you say?), farther into that scariest of regions, stuck between the far future and the distant past: the dark and puzzling present.

The Midnight Games won wide acclaim when it first appeared. The Midwest Book Review called it “A thrilling young adult novel, set in gritty, post-industrial Hamilton [that] blends the rich horror of H. P. Lovecraft with the pace of a modern mystery,” and Open Book Toronto said it was “Full of ancient books and curses as well as Lovecraftian horror… the perfect Canadian Halloween read.”

Five years later the sequel has arrived at last. The Medusa Deep was published in June, and has been warmly reviewed north of the border. Here’s the CBC:

Nate Silva is back battling monsters in The Medusa Deep, the long-awaited follow-up to David Neil Lee’s award-winning young adult novel, The Midnight Games. After finally finding The Sorcerer, the airship that disrupted the last midnight game, Nate is kidnapped by the crew and pressed into dangerous service in the fight against the Great Old Ones, ending up on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

Airships! Great Old Ones! Sunken Nazi spaceships! I don’t really believe you can assemble the perfect book just by mixing ingredients…. or at least I didn’t until about five minutes ago. Now let’s say I’m suddenly a lot more open minded.

The Medusa Deep was published by Poplar Press on June 15, 2021. It is 276 pages, priced at $12 US in paperback. I can’t find any information on the cover artist, but you can get all the deets from the publisher here.

See all our coverage of recent releases by Black Gate contributors here.

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