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...

Understatement of the Space-Time Continuum: N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became (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 continue N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became with Chapter 6. The novel was first published in March 2020. Spoilers ahead! CW for depictions of racist and misogynist art including some that graphically portrays sexual assault.

[“What part of ‘we don’t do bigotry’ do you not understand?”]

Series: Reading the Weird

I Wish the Goblin King Would Come and Take You Away: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “When I Was a Witch”

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 Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “When I was a Witch,” first published in the May 1910 issue of The Forerunner. You can find it most recently anthologized in Theodora Goss’ Medusa’s Daughters anthology. Spoilers ahead!

[I might as well make a good job of it while this lasts…]

Series: Reading the Weird

New York State of Mind: N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became (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 continue N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became with Chapter 5. The novel was first published in March 2020. Spoilers ahead!

[“The click of a woman’s heels on the sidewalk…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Feed Me, Seymour: H.G. Wells’ “The Flowering of the Strange Orchid”

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 H.G. Wells’ “The Flowering of the Strange Orchid,” first published in the Pall Mall Budget in August 1894. Spoilers ahead!

[“…they got into her dreams, growing after her with incredible rapidity.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Steel-Toed Boots of the Soul: N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became (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 N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became with the 2nd Interruption and Chapter 4. The novel was first published in March 2020. Spoilers ahead!

[“Have to watch that. When I’m frustrated, I speak too much truth.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Lions Drinking With Jackals: Molly Tanzer’s “Grave-Worms”

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 Molly Tanzer’s “Grave-Worms,” first published in the Joseph Pulver’s 2015 Cassilda’s Song anthology. Spoilers ahead!

[“To desire is to live, and to live is to desire.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Tentacle Monster TV: N. K. Jemisin’s The City We Became (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 N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became with the Chapters 2-3. The novel was first published in March 2020. Spoilers ahead!

[“I’ll miss this universe when everything is said and done…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

The Hazards of Bad Poetry: Kelly Link’s “The Specialist’s Hat”

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 Kelly Link’s “The Specialist’s Hat,” first published in 1998 in Event Horizon. Spoilers ahead!

[“When you’re dead, you don’t have to brush your teeth…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Fellowship of the Big Apple: N. K. Jemisin’s The City We Became (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 N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became with the Prologue, first Interruption, and Chapter 1. The prologue was first published on Tor.com in September 2016, while the novel was published in March 2020. Spoilers ahead!

[“…amid its triumph, the newborn city of New York shudders.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Spook-of-the-Month Club: Gordon B. White’s “Gordon B. White is Creating Haunting Weird Horror”

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 Gordon B. White’s “Gordon B. White is Creating Haunting Weird Horror,” first published in the July 2021 issue of Nightmare Magazine. Spoilers ahead, but this one is both short and very much worth the read!

[“…She doesn’t like to be looked at.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Amphibious Vampires: J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla (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 finish J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, first published as a serial in The Dark Blue from 1871 to 1872, with Chapters 15-16. Spoilers ahead!

[“The grave of the Countess Mircalla was opened…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Giants in the Sky: Clive Barker’s “In the Hills, the Cities”

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 Clive Barker’s “In the Hills, the Cities,” first published in Barker’s Books of Blood, Volume 1 in 1984. You can also find it in column favorite anthology The Weird. Spoilers ahead, but go read!

[“The shadows of the bodies darkened tracts of land the size of small towns…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

The V-Word At Last: J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla (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 J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, first published as a serial in The Dark Blue from 1871 to 1872, with Chapters 13-14. Spoilers ahead!

[“You may guess how strangely I felt…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Strangers in Red: Crystal Sidell’s “The Truth About Doppelgangers”

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 our celebration of National Poetry Month with Crystal Sidell’s “The Truth About Doppelgangers,” first published in March 2022 in Strange Horizons. Spoilers ahead, but go read! Content Warning: possible self-harm.

[“I glimpsed their not-quite white saw-edged teeth…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

The Ol’ “Just Invite Me In” Con: J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla (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 continue with J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, first published as a serial in The Dark Blue from 1871 to 1872, with Chapters 11-12. Spoilers ahead!

[“I was only too happy, after all, to have secured so charming a companion for my dear girl.”]

Series: Reading the Weird

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