Tor.com content by

Anne M. Pillsworth

Fiction and Excerpts [3]
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Fiction and Excerpts [3]

Fathomless

, || Sean Wyndham has tried to stay away from the lure of magic—the last time he tried to dabble in the dark studies, he inadvertently summoned a blood familiar, wreaking havoc on his town, and calling the attention of the Elder Gods. But now Sean has been offered the chance to study magic with a proper teacher...

Summoned (Excerpt)

, || While browsing in a rare book store in Arkham, Sean finds an occult book with an ad seeking an apprentice sorcerer, from a newspaper dated March 21, 1895. Even more intriguing, the ad specifically requests applicants reply by email. Sean's always been interested in magic, particularly the Lovecraftian dark mythology. Against his best friend Edna's advice, he decides to answer the ad, figuring it's a clever hoax, but hoping that it won't be. The advertiser, Reverend Redemption Orne, claims to be a master of the occult born more than 300 years ago. To prove his legitimacy, Orne gives Sean instructions to summon a harmless but useful familiar—but Sean's ceremony takes a dark turn, and he instead accidentally beckons a bloodthirsty servant to the Cthulhu Mythos god Nyarlathotep. The ritual is preemptively broken, and now Sean must find and bind the servitor, before it grows too strong to contain. But strange things are already happening in the town of Arkham...

Bad Solutions For Writer’s Block: Henry Kuttner’s “The Salem Horror”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Henry Kuttner’s “The Salem Horror,” first published in the May 1937 issue of Weird Tales. Spoilers ahead.

[“He became conscious that he was standing in the exact center of the chamber…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

When You Wish Upon Yog Sothoth: Martha Wells’s “The Dark Gates”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Martha Wells’s “The Dark Gates,” first published in 2015 in Aaron J. French’s The Gods of H. P. Lovecraft. Spoilers ahead.

[“Steps sounded from somewhere below, heavy, slapping steps as if a large man in swim fins stalked across the tiles.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Where Are the Rugose Cones I Was Promised? Duane Rimel’s “Dreams of Yith”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Duane Rimel’s “Dreams of Yith,” first published in the July 1934 issue of The Fantasy Fan. Spoilers ahead.

[“High in the ebon skies on scaly wings / Dread bat-like beasts soar past those towers gray…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Art That Challenges Your Assumptions: Ann K. Schwader’s “Objects From the Gilman-Waite Collection”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Ann K. Schwader’s “Objects From the Gilman-Waite Collection,” first published in 2003 in Strange Stars and Alien Shadows: The Dark Fiction of Ann K. Schwader. Spoilers ahead.

[“What he had taken at first for arabesques now appeared as lithe, androgynous figures.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

H.P. Lovecraft and the Chamber of Secrets: Lovecraft and William Lumley’s “The Diary of Alonzo Typer”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Lovecraft and William Lumley’s “The Diary of Alonzo Typer,” first published in the February 1938 issue of Weird Tales. Spoilers ahead.

[“I turned to flee, but found that vision of the titan paws before me…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Bad Ways to Pick Up Barbarians: C. L. Moore’s “Black God’s Kiss”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at C. L. Moore’s “Black God’s Kiss,” first published in the October 1934 issue of Weird Tales. Spoilers ahead.

[“No human travelers had worn the sides of the spiral so smooth…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

World’s Most Terrifying Pillow Book: Livia Llewellyn’s “The Low, Dark Edge of Life”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Livia Llewellyn’s “The Low, Dark Edge of Life,” first published in Nightmare magazine in December 2016. It is seriously not safe for work, don’t click on that link unless you’re over 18. But if you are over 18, go read it now, because it’s awesome. Spoilers ahead.

[“Even with my black-tinted glasses, even with my eyelids shut tight, the fertility of the land shimmers in my sight…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Top Ten Reasons to Summon an Elder God: David Drake’s “Than Curse the Darkness”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at David Drake’s “Than Curse the Darkness,” first published in 1980 in Ramsey Campbell’s New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos collection. Spoilers ahead.

[“The trees of the rain forest lowered huge and black above the village, dwarfing it and the group of men in its center.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Extradimensional Monsters Against Gentrification: Kage Baker’s “Calamari Curls”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Kage Baker’s “Calamari Curls,” first published in 2006 in her Dark Mondays collection. Spoilers ahead.

[“Holy water, prayer and police tape had done all they could do…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Urban Legends of Ancient Egypt: Gene Wolfe’s “Lord of the Land”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Gene Wolfe’s “Lord of the Land,” first published in 1990 in his Starwater Strains collection. Spoilers ahead.

[“Something moved when he switched off the light.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Ia! I’ll Show Them All! Lovecraft and Adolphe de Castro’s “The Electric Executioner”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at “The Electric Executioner,” a collaboration between Lovecraft and Adolphe de Castro first published in the August 1930 issue of Weird Tales. Spoilers ahead.

[“You are fortunate, sir. I shall use you first of all…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Psst, Kid, Wanna Buy an Apocalyptic Sweater? Amelia Gorman’s “Bring the Moon to Me”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Amelia Gorman’s “Bring the Moon to Me,” first published in the 2015 anthology, She Walks in Shadows, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles. Spoilers ahead.

[“The shadows in our house made me anxious…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

The Horror of Cocktail Parties: F. Marion Crawford’s “The Upper Berth”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at F. Marion Crawford’s “The Upper Berth,” first published in The Broken Shaft: Unwin’s Annual for 1886. Spoilers ahead.

[“I remember that the sensation as I put my hands forward was as though I were plunging them into the air of a damp cellar…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Ice Is Also Great: Holly Phillips’s “Cold Water Survival”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Holly Phillips’s “Cold Water Survival,” first published in Ellen Datlow’s Lovecraft Unbound anthology in 2009. Spoilers ahead.

[“Cutter is dead and I don’t know what to feel.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

It’s a Small Mythos After All: Fritz Leiber’s “The Terror From the Depths”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Fritz Leiber’s “The Terror From the Depths,” first published in Edward P. Berglund’s Disciples of Cthulhu anthology in 1976. Written 1937-1975 according to some sources, and entirely in 1975 according to others—can anyone solve the mystery? Spoilers ahead.

[“The sea fog still wraps the sprawling suburbs below…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread