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...

Journalism More Yellow Than Most: Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s “Flash Frame”

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.

This week, we’re reading Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s “Flash Frame,” first published in 2010 in Carrie Cuinn’s Cthulhurotica anthology; you can more easily find it in Ross E. Lockhart’s The Book of Cthulhu. Spoilers ahead.

[“I looked at my steno pad and the lined, yellow pages reminded me of leprous skin.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Potluck Devils: Stephen Graham Jones’s “The Spindly Man”

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.

This week, we’re reading Stephen Graham Jones’s “The Spindly Man,” first published in Ellen Datlow’s Fearful Symmetries anthology in 2014 and available in the September 2016 issue of The Dark. Spoilers ahead. (Also spoilers for Stephen King’s 1994 story “The Man in the Black Suit,” which you can find in The Weird.)

[“Proof,” he said. “We’ve all got proof, man. I bet every one of us has a story like this kid’s. Don’t we?”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Love in the Time of Parasitic Breeding Strategies: Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild”

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.

This week, we’re reading Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild,” first published in the June 1984 issue of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. Spoilers ahead—but seriously, if you’ve never read this, go read it first. You can find it in The Weird and probably in five other anthologies already on your shelves, or on audio here.

[Read more]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Maybe I Wouldn’t Have These Scars From the Octopus Deity: Autumn Christian’s “Shadow Machine”

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.

This week, we’re reading Autumn Christian’s “Shadow Machine,” first published in Robert S. Wilson’s 2018 Ashes and Entropy anthology. Spoilers ahead.

[Read more]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Lovecraft’s Model? Robert Barbour Johnson’s “Far Below”

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.

This week, we’re reading Robert Barbour Johnson’s “Far Below,” first published in the June/July 1939 issue of Weird Tales. Spoilers ahead.

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Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Safer Meat: Amanda Downum’s “The Tenderness of Jackals”

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.

This week, we’re reading Amanda Downum’s “The Tenderness of Jackals,” first published in Ellen Datlow’s Lovecraft Unbound anthology in 2009. Spoilers ahead.

[Read more]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Cribbage and Elder Gods: Manly Wade Wellman’s “The Terrible Parchment”

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.

This week, we’re reading Manly Wade Wellman’s “The Terrible Parchment,” first published in the August 1937 issue of Weird Tales. (Note that there are several places where you can ostensibly read it online; all have serious errors in the text. We found it in The Second Cthulhu Mythos Megapack.) Spoilers ahead.

[Read more]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Beware the Crib: Ray Bradbury’s “The Small Assassin”

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.

This week, we’re reading Ray Bradbury’s “The Small Assassin,” first published in the November 1946 issue of Dime Stories. Spoilers ahead. Trigger warning for harm to, and from, babies.

[Read more]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Don’t Talk to Strangers After All: Shirley Jackson’s “The Witch”

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.

This week, we’re reading Shirley Jackson’s “The Witch,” first published in 1949 in The Lottery, or, The Adventures of James Harris. Spoilers ahead.

[Read more]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

One Channel and Literally Nothing On: Jerome Bixby’s “It’s a Good 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.

This week, we’re reading Jerome Bixby’s “It’s a Good Life,” first published in 1953 in Star Science Fiction Stories #2, edited by Frederik Pohl. Spoilers ahead.

[“Oh, don’t say that, Miss Amy… it’s fine, just fine. A real good day!”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Henry James is Not Amused: Gertrude Atherton’s “The Bell in the Fog”

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.

This week, we’re reading Gertrude Atherton’s “The Bell in the Fog,” first published the August 1903 issue of The Smart Set. Spoilers ahead.

[“Of course you’ve fallen in love with Blanche, sir,” said one of them. “Everybody does.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

National Disturbing Poetry Month: H.P. Lovecraft’s “Nemesis” and Gemma Files’s “Haruspicy”

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.

This week, we’re celebrating National Poetry Month! H.P. Lovecraft’s “Nemesis” was first published in the June 1918 issue of The Vagrant, while Gemma Files’s “Haruspicy” first appeared in Strange Horizons in October 2011. Spoilers ahead (such as they are).

[Read more]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Two Households, Not Exactly Alike in Dignity: Caitlín Kiernan’s “Love is Forbidden, We Croak and Howl”

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.

This week, we’re reading Caitlín Kiernan’s “Love is Forbidden, We Croak and Howl,” first published in Sirenia Digest #78, in 2010; the version reviewed here is from the 2012 Lovecraft’s Monsters anthology edited by Ellen Datlow. Spoilers ahead.

[Read more]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Rules for Healthy Relationships (with Deep Ones): Shibata Yoshiki’s “Love for Who Speaks”

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.

This week, we’re reading Shibata Yoshiki’s “Love for Who Speaks,” translated into English by Stephen A. Carter. This version is first published in Asamatsu Ken’s 2002 Night Voices, Night Journeys anthology; we haven’t been able to find publication information for the original Japanese version. Spoilers ahead.

[Read more]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Fear Not! Or Maybe Fear After All: Christopher Golden and James A. Moore’s “In Their Presence”

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.

This week, we’re reading Christopher Golden and James A. Moore’s “In Their Presence,” first Aaron J. French’s 2015 The Gods of H.P. Lovecraft anthology. Spoilers ahead.

[Read more]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

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