Occultech Public Safety Advisory
Who is he?
Victor is, in my opinion, one of the worst horror fiction writers that I know of. His stories are trite, and fall to the worst cliches in whatever subgenre he is busy butchering at the time.
His Mythos fiction is especially excreable. His "protagonists" are despisable excuses of people, and one finds oneself longing for their agonizing demises at the hands of the unspeakable horror that pursues them, in hopes that this will cut short the story.
Unfortunately, although his stories tend to be bloodbaths, this rarely makes them any shorter. In his story "The Creature in the Basement", the Creature begins its killing spree on page 135, and continues almost non-stop for the next 217 pages, as character after character gets slaughtered in excruciating detail. Several characters get introduced solely for the purpose of feeding them into the figurative, and in one case literal, meatgrinder.
His regular fiction, although noxious, hardly qualifies him to have an official warning written about him. After all, people might just get tempted to pick up his books simply to see whether they're as bad as I say. Unfortunately, there is one book of his that poses a significant risk to the health and sanity of the reader.
The Darkest Shadow
The literature is full of books that will drive you mad with the knowledge contained within. The Darkest Shadow, by Victor Woodbury, might generously be counted amongst this number. It will not shatter you mind with terrible revelations. It will not change the way you look at the world, fearing every shadow (not even the darkest ones). It might, however, destroy your faith in the publishing industry, and leave you illiterate, and if you're unlucky, blind, deaf or mute.
The writing is bad enough that as a self defense mechanism, your brain tries to remove the risk of being exposed to it again. At a Con several years ago, some people decided to modify the usual challenge of reading as much of The Eye of Argon possible while remaining straight-faced, replacing Jim Theis's opus with Woodbury's. All participants ended up being incapable of reading English, four ended up incapable of understanding spoken English, and one ended up deaf. Two of those who lost the ability to understand spoken English spoke English as a second language. Both were still fluent in their mother tongue.
What should I do if I encounter Victor Woodbury?
Try to avoid his gaze. If he thinks someone's paying attention to him, he might decide to tell a story. Whatever you do, don't offer him a book contract.
What should I do if I encounter The Darkest Shadow?
Burn it. Unlike most dangerous books, there is nothing inside of it of any value, and it's not nearly rare enough yet to preserve on the grounds of scarcity.