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...

My Bedroom Used to Be the Embalming Room: The Haunting of Hill House (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 continue with Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, first published in 1959. Today we’re covering Chapter 2. Spoilers ahead.

[“Perhaps someone had once hoped to lighten the air of the blue room in Hill House with a dainty wallpaper…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Something in the Water, Something in the Air: Kaaron Warren’s “The Diesel Pool”

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 Kaaron Warren’s “The Diesel Pool,” first published in 2017 in Steve Proposch, Christopher Sequira, and Bryce Stevens’ Cthulhu Deep Down Under, Volume 1. Spoilers ahead.

[“No one likes to come down here. Every door hides a ghost.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Following the Directions Too Far: The Haunting of Hill House (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 continue with Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, first published in 1959. Today we’re covering Chapter 1, Parts 3-5. Spoilers ahead.

[“Sometimes the people who knock you down never turn once to look.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Maybe Just Don’t Rob Graves: Louisa May Alcott’s “Lost in a Pyramid, or the Mummy’s Curse”

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 Louisa May Alcott’s “Lost in a Pyramid, or the Mummy’s Curse,” first published in Frank Leslie’s 1869 A New World. (We read it in Lisa Morton and Leslie S. Klinger’s new Weird Women: Classic Supernatural Fiction by Groundbreaking Female Writers 1852-1923.) Spoilers ahead.

[“You’ll be sorry for it, and so shall I, perhaps…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Good Ghost-Hunters are Hard to Find: Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (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’re starting on Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, first published in 1959. Today we’re covering Chapter 1, Parts 1 and 2. Spoilers ahead.

[“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Taking a Baseball Bat to Cthulhu: Watching the First Two Episodes of Lovecraft Country

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 watching the first two episodes of Lovecraft Country, airing on HBO August 16 and 23, 2020. Spoilers ahead (but go watch first, because this show is amazing).

[“At the dawn of time, just for a moment, everything was where and as it should be…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Nature Is Boring: William Browning Spencer’s “The Essayist in the Wilderness”

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 William Browning Spencer’s “The Essayist in the Wilderness,” first published in the May 2002 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and collected in the 2011 anthology New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird. Spoilers ahead.

[“I speak of the lonesome song of the crayfish…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

The Horror of Improper Preservation Technique: H.P. Lovecraft and Winifred V. Jackson’s “The Green Meadow”

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 H.P. Lovecraft and Winifred V. Jackson’s “The Green Meadow,” written in 1918 and 1919 and first published in the Spring 1927 issue of The Vagrant. Spoilers ahead.

[“Though I saw about me objects which I could name—trees, grass, sea, and sky; I felt that their relation to me was not the same…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Things Man Should Still Avoid Knowing: Leonid N. Andreyev’s “Lazarus”

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 Leonid N. Andreyev’s “Lazarus,” first published in Russian in 1906. (Trying to find out the original publication venue when one doesn’t speak Russian is tough—reader insights welcome.) The version we read was translated by Avraham Yarmolinsky and first appeared in 1918 in Lazarus/The Gentleman from San Francisco. Spoilers ahead.

[“Only the great desert, enfolding the Holy City, came close to the threshold of his abode…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

The Art of Dematerialization: Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas’s “T’la-yub’s Head”

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 Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas’s “T’la-yub’s Head,” translated by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and first published in Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s and Paula R. Stiles’s 2015 She Walks in Shadows anthology. Spoilers ahead.

[“There remains a door which we must watch because we are the key.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

The Opposite of a Skeleton in the Closet: Alyssa Wong’s “What My Mother Left Me”

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 Alyssa Wong’s “What My Mother Left Me,” first published in Ellen Datlow’s 2018 anthology The Devil and the Deep: Horror Stories of the Sea. Spoilers ahead (but well worth reading first if you can get a hold of it).

[“But instead of bearing the fish back into the ocean, the water tugs gently at its body…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Learning to Be Reptilian: Jamaica Kincaid’s “My Mother”

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 Jamaica Kincaid’s “My Mother,” first published in her 1978 collection, At the Bottom of the River. (You can also find it in The Weird.) Spoilers ahead.

[“She grew plates of metal-colored scales on her back, and light, when it collided with this surface, would shatter and collapse into tiny points.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

The Elder Things of Kilimanjaro: Maurice Broaddus’ “The Iron Hut”

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 Maurice Broaddus’ “The Iron Hut,” first published in Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles’ 2014 Sword and Mythos anthology. Spoilers ahead.

[“Like living scrolls, the men had words—old words not meant to be pronounced by human tongues, carved into their flesh.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

An Ecstasy of Arrows: Craig Laurance Gidney’s “Sea, Swallow Me”

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 Craig Laurance Gidney’s “Sea, Swallow Me,” first published in Ashé Journal in 2006; you can find it more easily in Gidney’s Sea, Swallow Me collection. Spoilers ahead—but we encourage you to go read it first.

[Read more]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

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