The 37th Mandala

The mandalas have always been among us, unseen and uncalled. Those few occult masters who have encountered them have known to leave them alone, for to these unholy forces we are mere playthings, insignificant tools to be used, fed upon—and eventually discarded.

When New Age charlatan Derek Crowe learns the secrets of the mandalas he sees only the opportunity for easy money. He ignores the warnings, alters the mystical texts to make the dreaded mandalas seem benevolent to a gullible public, then publishes his book and waits for the profits to roll in. But Crowe is all too successful. For he has inadvertently released upon the earth a horror that is beyond all understanding or control—a horror both infinite and hungry.

Named Best Novel of 1996 by the International Horror Guild Award, and a finalist for the World Fantasy Award, this marks The 37th Mandala’s return to print after many years, and its first appearance as an ebook.


“Genuinely creepy. This book has enough to keep the reader checking the corners.”

—Stephen King

“Marc Laidlaw is writing the kind of horror fiction that made me fall in love with the field in the first place. While he can be gruesome when he needs to be, his real power is in the largeness of his vision. The 37th Mandala is a masterpiece of the kind of visionary horror we’ve hardly seen since Lovecraft died.”

—Ramsey Campbell

“This one will eat your brain.”

—John Shirley

“Attempts to achieve a genuine sense of awe are rare in contemporary horror. Describing the unspeakable is a daunting task, but Laidlaw rises to it, creating a manifestation of the unearthly that is both accessible and impenetrably alien. A superior tale of human beings in thrall to occult forces.”

—Publishers Weekly

“To all rational men, there are horrific thoughts—and their particular horror is what underlies and sustains such distinctively modern novels as The 37th Mandala. … The strength of The 37th Mandala … lies in its painstaking attempt to scrutinize and analyze the psychological malaise which lies at the heart of the so-called New Age. … A thoroughly modern horror novel.”

—Brian Stableford, Necrofile

“Laidlaw lays out a work … nearly as compelling as Lovecraft’s. … Stick-fast storytelling and brilliant discursive detail about occultism. Deserves high marks indeed—and those mandalas cry out for celluloid computerization.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“Marc Laidlaw writes with originality and brilliant finesse from a classic, back-to-the-roots-of-horror base that doesn’t stint on up-to-the-minute visceral intensity and sardonic wit. The 37th Mandala is a visionary, wicked tale of New Age spirituality and sheer evil. … Laidlaw immediately draws the reader into the fantastic with powerful writing and believable characterization.”

—Paula Guran, Dark Echo Horror