Tor.com content by

Anne M. Pillsworth

Fiction and Excerpts [3]
All

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...

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

Bilious and Beautiful: Damien Angelica Walters’s “Black Stars on Canvas, a Reproduction in Acrylic”

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 Damien Angelica Walters’s “Black Stars on Canvas, a Reproduction in Acrylic,” first published in Joseph S. Pulver, Senior’s 2015 anthology Cassilda’s Song. Spoilers ahead.

[In the beginning was the word: six letters, two syllables.]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

You Must Be Asking Yourself, “Why Mu?”: Colin Wilson’s “Return of the Lloigor”

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 Colin Wilson’s “The Return of the Lloigor,” first published in August Derleth’s 1969 anthology, Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. Spoilers ahead.

[“The Lloigor, although infinitely more powerful than men, were also aware that optimism would be absurd in this universe…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

The Same Thing We Do Every Aeon, Brain: Bentley Little’s “Petohtalrayn”

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 Bentley Little’s “Petohtalrayn,” first published in Aaron J. French’s 2015 anthology Gods of H. P. Lovecraft. Spoilers ahead.

[“There’s a workroom in the museum that I haven’t shown you yet…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

By Their Smell Shall Ye Know Them: Cherie Priest’s “Bad Sushi”

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 Cherie Priest’s “Bad Sushi,” first published in the August 2007 issue of Apex Digest. Spoilers ahead.

[“Even after sixty years, the memory of it shocked him…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Flipper & Cthulhu, Sitting in a Tree: James Wade’s “The Deep Ones”

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 James Wade’s “The Deep Ones,” first published in August Derleth’s 1969 anthology, Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, Volume 2. Spoilers ahead.

[“The drug underground at Miskatonic University was a little special.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Farcical Evolution: Lovecraft and Barlow’s “Till A’the Seas”

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 R.H. Barlow’s “Till A’the Seas,” first published in the Summer 1935 issue of The Californian. Spoilers ahead.

[“Only a few prophets and madmen could have conceived that which was to come—”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Toto, I Don’t Think We’re In Arkham Anymore: Matt Ruff’s “Lovecraft Country”

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 Matt Ruff’s “Lovecraft Country,” first published in his Lovecraft Country novel/fix-up in February 2016. Spoilers ahead.

[“I don’t get mad. Not at stories. They do disappoint me sometimes.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Cover Your Inner Eyes: Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Green Tea”

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 Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Green Tea,” first published in his In a Glass Darkly collection in 1872. Spoilers ahead.

[“I began now to perceive an outline of something black, and 1 soon saw, with tolerable distinctness, the outline of a small black monkey, pushing its face forward in mimicry to meet mine; those were its eyes, and I now dimly saw its teeth grinning at me.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Never Call It Necromancy: Sarah Monette’s “Bringing Helena Back”

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 Sarah Monette’s “Bringing Helena Back,” first published in the February 2004 issue of All Hallows. Spoilers ahead.

[“I have dreams sometimes, in which I throw the book again on the fire…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Books Get Banned For a Lot of Reasons: Ramsey Campbell’s “Cold Print”

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 Ramsey Campbell’s “Cold Print,” first published in August Derleth’s 1969 anthology, Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. Spoilers ahead.

[“Strutt bypassed the hardcovers and squinted behind the counter, slightly preoccupied…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

A Shaggy Frog Story: Neil Gaiman’s “Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar”

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 Neil Gaiman’s “Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar,” first published in Mike Ashley’s 1998 anthology, The Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy. Spoilers ahead.

[“Well, it’s not exactly a common name, is it? Nyarlathotep.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

The Game of Kings… in Yellow: Fritz Lieber’s “The Dreams of Albert Moreland”

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 Lieber’s “The Dreams of Albert Moreland,” first published in the Spring 1945 issue of The Acolyte. Spoilers ahead.

[“You think it a complicated game? Well, perhaps it is.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Nuking Them From Orbit May Not Help: Charlie Stross’s “A Colder War”

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 Charlie Stross’s alternate history novelette “A Colder War,” originally written c. 1997 and first published in Spectrum SF No. 3 in July 2000, Spoilers ahead.

[“Once, when Roger was a young boy, his father took him to an open day at Nellis AFB, out in the California desert.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Like Taking Cyclopean Candy From a Baby: Lovecraft and Greene’s “The Horror at Martin’s Beach”

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 Sonia H. Greene’s “The Horror at Martin’s Beach,” written in June 1922, and first published as “The Invisible Monster” in the November 1923 issue of Weird Tales. Spoilers ahead.

[“Even the strugglers, after a few frantic screams and futile groans, succumbed to the paralyzing influence and kept silent and fatalistic in the face of unknown powers.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread