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...

Souls for Sale, Bargain Prices: John Connolly’s “The Fractured Atlas,” Part 4

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we start on John Connolly’s “The Fractured Atlas,” first published in 2015 as part of Night Music: Nocturnes Volume II, with Part IV, sections I-VIII: “The Wanderer in Unknown Realms.” Spoilers ahead.

[Read more]

Series: Reading the Weird

You Will Fear the Fuchsia, Yet Again: From Beyond (1986)

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we celebrate Post #350 with the 1986 From Beyond film, loosely adapted from H.P. Lovecraft’s story of the same title by Brian Yuzna & Dennis Paoli; Screenplay by Dennis Paoli; directed by Stuart Gordon. Spoilers ahead, and content warnings for implied sexual assault, deeply non-consensual on-screen groping and mind control, and a lot of people getting their heads bitten off/brains eaten.

[“Humans are such easy prey.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Messy Revisions: John Connolly’s “The Fractured Atlas,” Part 3

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we start on John Connolly’s “The Fractured Atlas,” first published in 2015 as part of Night Music: Nocturnes Volume II, with Part III: “Mud.” Spoilers ahead

[“As I said before, there’s all kinds of mud, some cleaner than others.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

You Read Too Much Into Little Things: Grace Chan’s “The Mark”

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we cover Grace Chan’s “The Mark,” first published in Lee Murray and Geneve Flynn’s Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, winner of this year’s Shirley Jackson award for best anthology. Spoilers ahead, and content warnings for domestic abuse, rape, unwanted abortion, and genital self-harm.

[“My husband of ten years is a stranger.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

The Moving Finger Writes: John Connolly’s “The Fractured Atlas,” Part 2

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we start on John Connolly’s The Fractured Atlas, first published in 2015 as part of Night Music: Nocturnes Volume II, with Part 2: “The Djinn.” Spoilers ahead (for both this story and Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell)!

[“Maggs: no first name, or none that anyone could remember, or cared to use.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

With the Lobsters Out to Sea: Caitlin R. Kiernan’s “A Redress for Andromeda”

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we cover Caitlin R. Kiernan’s “A Redress for Andromeda,” first published Richard Chizmar and Robert Morrish’s 2000 October Dreams: A Celebration of Halloween anthology. You can find it more easily in The Weird. Spoilers ahead.

[“Ahmed and the woman with the conch-shell tattoo lean in close…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

The Man in the Inn With the Book: John Connolly’s The Fractured Atlas, Part 1

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we start on John Connolly’s The Fractured Atlas, first published in 2015 as part of Night Music: Nocturnes Volume II, with Part 1: “The Dread and Fear of Kings.” (We think: Connolly’s website states that an earlier and possibly shorter version appeared as an e-book, but does not provide a link or a date.) Spoilers ahead!

[“A hunted man—if he is to survive the ordeal—learns to anticipate the approach of his pursuers…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

What Women Want: Stephen King’s “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut”

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we cover Stephen King’s “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut,” first published in the May 1984 issue of Redbook but easier to find in the Skeleton Crew collection. Spoilers ahead.

[“Bugs was splashed all over the windshield—only they didn’t look like no kind of bugs I ever seen before.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Coyote Paints a Rock: T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, Part 11

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we wrap up T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, first published in 2020, with Chapters 21-22. Spoilers ahead!

[“The Glory to God Museum of Natural Wonders, Curiosities, and Taxidermy, open nine to six, six days a week, closed Mondays.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Meddle Not in the Affairs…: John Langan’s “Breakwater”

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we cover John Langan’s “Breakwater,” first published in Robert S. Wilson’s 2018 Ashes and Entropy anthology. Spoilers ahead.

[“When she was ready to kill Louise Westerford, she zipped her raincoat and stepped out into the storm.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

One Person’s Hell Dimension: T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, Part 10

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we cover Chapters 19-20 of T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, first published in 2020. Spoilers ahead!

[the light makes things alive]

Series: Reading the Weird

Problems at the Lodge: Brian Evenson’s “No Matter Which Way We Turned”

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we cover Brian Evenson’s “No Matter Which Way We Turned,” first published in People Holding in May 2016. Spoilers ahead for a very short story.

[“After a while we couldn’t hardly bear to look at her.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Extradimensional Rubber Bands: T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, Part 9

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we cover Chapters 17-18 of T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, first published in 2020. Spoilers ahead!

[“When there is a portal to hell or Narnia lurking upstairs, you tend to fall behind on your blogging.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Stepford Pets: Lisa Tuttle’s “Replacements”

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we cover Lisa Tuttle’s “Replacements,” first published in 1992 in Dennis Etchison’s Metahorror anthology. Spoilers ahead.

[“How would you feel about keeping a pet?”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Could Be Worse… We Guess: T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, Part 8

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we cover Chapters 15-16 of T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, first published in 2020. Spoilers ahead!

[“Maybe it’s the willows. Maybe they got their roots into you and they’re dragging you back.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

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