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...

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

The Party at the Beginning of the End of the World: Livia Llewellyn’s “Bright Crown of Glory”

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 Livia Llewellyn’s “Bright Crown of Joy,” first published in Ellen Datlow’s Children of Lovecraft anthology in 2016, and reprinted last year in Nick Mamatas’s Wonder and Glory Forever anthology. Spoilers ahead, but this one is very much worth tracking down and reading yourself.

[“After the After, there were waves of tsunamis that circled the surface of the world…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Hugging the Taxidermy: T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, 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 cover Chapters 13-14 of T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, first published in 2020. Spoilers ahead—but we strongly recommend reading along!

[“Our society doesn’t teach us a graceful way to handle the aftermath of incredibly stressful events.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

No Drivel About Mysteries: Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Horror of the Heights”

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 Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Horror of the Heights,” first published in the November 1913 issue of The Strand. Spoilers ahead.

[“The whole aspect of this monster was formidable and threatening…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

The Power of Earworms and Petty Anger: T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, Part 6

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 11-12 of T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, first published in 2020. Spoilers ahead—but we strongly recommend reading along!

[“…maybe time moved jaggedly in this world, or the sun didn’t rise until the willows were ready for it.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Floral Hazards: Wendy N. Wagner’s “The Black Azalea”

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 Wendy N. Wagner’s “The Black Azalea,” first published in the Mike Davis’s 2016 Autumn Cthulhu anthology. Spoilers ahead. Content warning for cancer and animal death.

[“Perhaps waking up to apocalyptic sci-fi had put her in a dispirited mood…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Sleep Tight: T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, Part 5

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 9-10 of T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, first published in 2020. Spoilers ahead—but we strongly recommend reading along!

[“…for all I know, sometimes I do see ghosts, and they’re just blurry like everybody else.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Change Your Clocks, Change the World: Robert Levy’s “DST (Fall Back)”

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 Robert Levy’s “DST (Fall Back,” first published in the Mike Davis’s 2016 Autumn Cthulhu anthology. Spoilers ahead.

[“Starlight and stridulations. Together they open windows. But only inside the gifted hour.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

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

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