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...

I Don’t Think We’re in Narnia Any More: T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, 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 cover Chapters 7-8 of T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, first published in 2020. Spoilers ahead—but we strongly recommend reading along!

[“We’re in the woods between the worlds and we’ve lost track of which one is ours…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Always Be Closing: Margaret St. Clair’s “The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles”

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 Margaret St. Clair’s “The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles,” first published in the October 1951 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. You can find it in The Weird, among other collections. Spoilers ahead.

[“…for the first time Mortensen felt a definite qualm.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Advertising for Burglars: Lord Dunsany’s “How Nuth Would Have Practised His Art Upon the Gnoles”

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 Lord Dunsany’s “How Nuth Would Have Worked His Art Upon the Gnoles,” first published in his 1912 collection The Book of Wonder. Spoilers ahead.

[“These mouldering chairs, these full-length ancestors and carved mahogany are the produce of the incomparable Nuth.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

More Wondrous on the Inside: T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, 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 cover Chapters 3-4 of T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, first published in 2020. Spoilers ahead—but we strongly recommend reading along!

[“It’s a bit weird, yeah…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

A Terrible Time for Birdwatching: Daphne Du Maurier’s “The Birds”

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 Daphne Du Maurier’s “The Birds,” first published in her 1952 collection The Apple Tree (now reprinted as The Birds and Other Stories). Spoilers ahead. CW for (bird) suicide attacks and harm to eyes.

[“Black and white, jackdaw and gull, mingled in strange partnership, seeking some sort of liberation, never satisfied, never still.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Bigfoot, Therefore Evolution: T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, 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 cover the first two chapters of T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, first published in 2020. Spoilers ahead—but we strongly recommend reading along!

[“A man who had devoured his twin in the womb … was pitying me.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

More Hungry Houses: Oliver Onions’ “The Beckoning Fair One”

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 Oliver Onions’ “The Beckoning Fair One,” first published in 1911 in his Widdershins collection. Spoilers ahead.

[“I don’t say I don’t love my work—when it’s done.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

What Walks Alone: Final Thoughts on The Haunting of Hill House

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 our discussion Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, including final thoughts from both of us and a little from Anne on the screen adaptations. Spoilers ahead.

[Read more]

Series: Reading the Weird

Journeys End: Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (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 finish Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, first published in 1959, with Chapter 9. Spoilers ahead.

[“It’s the only time anything’s ever happened to me. I liked it.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Lonely Hunter: Aimee Ogden’s “His Heart Is the Haunted House”

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 Aimee Ogden’s “His Heart is the Haunted House,” first published in Apparition Lit in July 2019. Spoilers ahead.

[“Salt and sage won’t keep the dead women out.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Go Forth and Face Your Lover: The Haunting of Hill House (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 continue with Chapter 8 of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, first published in 1959. Spoilers ahead.

[“What do people really want with each other, as Nell asked me once; what use are other people?”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Monsters Trying to Dance: Gillian Daniels’ “Bobbie and Her Father”

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’re reading Gillian Daniels’s “Bobbie and Her Father,” first published in the August 2020 issue of The Dark. CW for harm to children.

[“Nancy has a grasp like the weight of paper.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Her Suitcase Full of Ectoplasm: The Haunting of Hill House (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 continue with Chapter 7 of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, first published in 1959. Spoilers ahead.

[“The spirits dwelling in this house may be actually suffering because they are aware that you are afraid of them.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

The Hazards of a Cat Shortage: Garry Kilworth’s “Hogfoot Right and Bird Hands”

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’re reading Garry Kilworth’s “Hogfoot Right and Bird-Hands,” first published in 1987 in Christopher Evans and Robert Holdstock’s Other Edens anthology. Spoilers ahead; CW for amputation and mention of suicide.

[“It would perch on the back of the bed-chair and flutter its fingerfeathers…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Never a Mother: Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (Part 7)

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 continue with Chapter 6 of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, first published in 1959. Spoilers ahead.

[“Her eyes hurt with tears against the screaming blackness of the path…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

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