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WHEN DEL FIRST invited me to a book signing at his store, Dark Delicacies, my probable reaction was: Okay, another signing, another bookstore.

I was right about the first part—a pleasant experience meeting some of my readers, gratification at being praised by them—plus, to be crass, some additional royalty money.

I was completely wrong about my second guesstimation. Dark Delicacies is most definitely not just “another bookstore.” It is the most unique bookstore of its kind I have ever seen, a treasure trove of all those books whose dark delicacy makes them good-to-great-to-superb reading.

Plus hundreds of additional items that create within its walls a magical, mystical, provocative, and totally evocative environment—posters, photographs, objets noir-d’art, and gifts of all variety that possess a definitely, darkly, delicate fascination.

Not forgetting the thousands of volumes from the most current publication to classic fiction and nonfiction.

In brief, a delightful location wherein to amble, peruse, and enjoy. My God, even the bathroom has intriguing artwork on the walls!

Signing my books at Del’s store has always been rewarding. How he lets it be known that I—and all the other writers, artists, and filmmakers—will be present, pen (or Marks-O-Lot) in hand, I have no idea.

I do know that making a bookstore of such a limited nature succeed is damnably difficult, incredibly demanding. Del and his hardworking wife, Sue, have done it though and continue to do it, a decade from its inception.

In the past two years, I have been unable to appear at Dark Delicacies because of a back problem. Del has generously brought me books to sign and, on occasion, has even driven me from my home and, later, back to it so I can attend an occasional signing at their store.

All this remarkable dedication and skill has permeated this Dark Delicacies anthology. Buy it, read it, enjoy it, keep it, and cherish it. I know I will.

Richard Matheson

June 2005

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