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...

How Not to Handle Rejection Letters: M.R. James’s “Casting the Runes”

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 M. R. James’s “Casting the Runes,” first published in 1911 in his More Ghost Stories collection. Spoilers ahead.

[“Dear Sir, I am requested by the Council of the ___ Association to return to you the draft of a paper on The Truth of Alchemy…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

The Void is a Harsh Critic: John Glasby’s “Drawn From 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 John Glasby’s “Drawn From Life,” first published in the Michaelmas 1989 issue of Crypt of Cthulhu. Spoilers ahead.

[“And the music! It rose and fell in wild, tormented shrieks and cadences…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of… Um: Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette’s “Boojum”

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 Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette’s “Boojum,” first published in Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s Fast Ships, Black Sails anthology in 2008. Spoilers ahead.

[“Black Alice was on duty when the Lavinia Whateley spotted prey…”]

Cthulhu and Sons: Lin Carter’s “The Winfield Heritance”

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 Lin Carter’s “The Winfield Heritance” (unless it’s “Heritage” or “Inheritance,” sources differ), first published in 1981 in Weird Tales #3 (an anthology, edited by Carter himself, not a magazine). Spoilers ahead.

[“The coiling stone stair did not end, but it vanished into a black pool of slimy liquid mud…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

The Cthulhu Whisperer: Brian Hodge’s “The Same Deep Waters As You”

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 Brian Hodge’s “The Same Deep Waters As You,” first published in 2013 in Stephen Jones’s Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth anthology. Spoilers ahead.

[“At first it was soothing, a muted drone both airy and deep…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

One-Star Reviews Have Consequences: S.P. Miskowski’s “Strange is the Night”

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 S.P. Miskowski’s “Strange is the Night,” first published in 2015 in Joseph S. Pulver’s Cassilda’s Song anthology. Spoilers ahead.

[“A growl of thunder overhead and Pierce imagined the ceiling cracking open…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Glamour Shot With Dog Skull: Caitlín Kiernan’s “Pickman’s Other Model”

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 Caitlín Kiernan’s “Pickman’s Other Model (1929),” first published in March 2008 in Sirenia Digest. Spoilers ahead.

[“Thurber and I used to argue about the validity of first-person narration as an effective literary device…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

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