The Perils of Genealogical Research, Part 57: August Derleth’s “The Seal of R’lyeh”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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 August Derleth’s “The Seal of R’lyeh,” first published in 1962 in The Mask of Cthulhu. (Transcription at the link has difficulty with divisions between words, but appears mostly accurate and readable.) Spoilers ahead.

“Here and there, woven into rugs—beginning with that great round rug in the central room—into hangings, or plaques—was a design which seemed to be of a singularly perplexing seal, a round, disc-like pattern bearing on it a crude likeness of the astronomical symbol of Aquarius, the water-carrier—a likeness that might have been drawn remote ages ago, when the shape of Aquarius was not as it is today—surmounting a hauntingly indefinite suggestion of a buried city, against which, in ...

Bad Influences From Atlantis: H.P. Lovecraft and Adolphe de Castro’s “The Last Test”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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 Adolphe de Castro’s “The Last Test,” a revision of de Castro’s original “A Sacrifice to Science,” first published in In the Confessional and the Following in 1893; the revised version first appeared in the November 1928 issue of Weird Tales. Spoilers ahead.

“Humanity! What the deuce is humanity? Science! Dolts! Just individuals over and over again!”

Summary

Few know the inside story of the Clarendon affair, which culminated in the death of genius bacteriologist Alfred Clarendon. His longtime friend and supporter, Governor James Dalton, and his sister Georgina, now Mrs. Dalton, know the truth, but they never speak of it.

Clarendon traveled the world seeking an antitoxin ...

I Ain’t Got No Body: Amos Tutuola’s “The Complete Gentleman”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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 Amos Tutuola’s “The Complete Gentlemen,” first published as part of his novel The Palm-Wine Drinkard in 1952. Spoilers ahead. But this story is as much about voice as plot, and our summary can really only do justice to the latter. Go and read!

“I had told you not to follow me before we branched into this endless forest which belongs to only terrible and curious creatures, but when I became a half-bodied incomplete gentleman you wanted to go back, now that cannot be done, you have failed. Even you have never seen anything yet, just follow me.”

Summary

Our narrator calls himself the “Father of gods who can do anything in this world....

Kentucky Bourbon and Elder Signs: Alter Reiss’s “In the Forest of the Night”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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 Alter Reiss’s “In the Forest of the Night,” first published in the March 2015 issue of the Lovecraft E-Zine. Spoilers ahead; go check out the original, it’s a quick read and has shimmer spiders.

“And who is this,” said the long-necked paneron, from the bole of one of the great, phosphorescent night oaks, “come to our solitary?”

Summary

Abraham Jackson, or as he prefers to be called One-Eyed Jack or simply Jack, walks in the Dawning Wood. A paneron creeps down a phosphorescent night oak to interrogate and taunt him, while the shimmer spiders reel up their threads at his approach. Abraham Jackson isn’t the only one to come into the ...

Ulthar in the Fourth Dimension: Hagiwara Sakutarō’s “The Town of Cats”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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 Hagiwara Sakutarō’s “The Town of Cats,” first published in 1935 as Nekomachi; the English version in The Weird was translated by Jeffrey Angles and originally appeared in Modanizumu in 2008. Spoilers ahead.

“When the inhabitants did anything—when they walked down the street, moved their hands, ate, drank, thought, or even chose the pattern of their clothing—they had to give painstaking attention to their actions to make sure they harmonized with the reigning atmosphere and did not lose the appropriate degrees of contrast and symmetry with their environs.”

Summary

Narrator, once an avid traveler, no longer has any desire to explore the physical world. No matter where one goes, one finds the same ...

Old Powers Rising: Nadia Bulkin’s “Pro Patria”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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 Nadia Bulkin’s “Pro Patria,” first published in 2015 in Joseph S. Pulver’s Cassilda’s Song anthology. Spoilers ahead. Trigger warning for suicide.

“Joseph Garanga watched a small brown gecko crawl, belly to the wood, across the open window sill, and wondered why an institution that called itself the National University had installed neither window panes nor air conditioning.”

Summary

Joseph Garanga, political science professor at the National University of Concordia, isn’t entirely displeased when graffiti proclaims that “Garanga’s Law” is “The Restitution of the Damned.” He doesn’t know what that means, but it’s flattering to think he’s been elevated to the level of a Newton or Fermi, even if by a populace incapable ...

Publish and Perish: Ada Hoffman’s “The Mother of All Squid Builds a Library”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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 Ada Hoffman’s “The Mother of All Squid Builds a Library,” first published in December 2013 in Strange Horizons and later collected in Hoffman’s Monsters in My Mind. Spoilers ahead.

[Since today’s story is shorter than our usual summary, why not just read it in all its undersea glory now?  You won’t regret it!]

“In the Fourth Year of the Hydra, the Mother of All Squid built a library.”

Summary

The Mother of All Squid, having heard from the whales of splendid upper world libraries, decides to build her own.  She sends fifteen of her bodies to the whales, asking for contributions, but they scoff — libraries belong to ...

Rolling the Bones: Ray Bradbury’s “Skeleton”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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 “Skeleton,” first published in the September 1945 issue of Weird Tales. Spoilers ahead.

“His heart cringed from the fanning motion of ribs like pale spiders crouched and fiddling with their prey.”

Summary

Mr. Harris’s bones ache. His doctor snorts that he’s “been curried with the finest-tooth combs and bacteria-brushes known to science” and there’s nothing wrong with him except hypochondria. Blind fool, Harris sulks. He finds a bone specialist in the phone directory: M. Munigant. This fellow, redolent of iodine, proves a good listener; when Harris has run through his symptoms, Munigant speaks in a strange whistling accent:

Ah, the bones. Men ignore them until there’s an imbalance, ...

A Little Dark Reading: Margaret Irwin’s “The Book”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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 Margaret Irwin’s “The Book,” first published in 1930 in The London Mercury and collected in The Weird (Tor Books, 2012). Spoilers ahead.

“From among this neat new clothbound crowd there towered here and there a musty sepulchre of learning, brown with the colour of dust rather than leather, with no trace of gilded letters, however faded, on its crumbling back to tell what lay inside.”

Summary

One foggy November night, bored by his detective story, Mr. Corbett searches for more palatable bedtime reading. The dining room bookcase holds a motley collection: Mrs. Corbett’s railway stall novels, 19th-century literature from Mr. Corbett’s Oxford days, children’s fairy tales. Here and there looms a real tome ...

Fungi From Bob’s Discount Beer: Stephen King’s “Gray Matter”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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 King’s “Gray Matter,” first published in the October 1973 issue of Cavalier and later collected in Night Shift. Spoilers ahead.

“Can you feature that? The kid all by himself in that apartment with his dad turning into… well, into something… an’ heating his beer and then having to listen to him—it—drinking it with awful thick slurping sounds, the way an old man eats his chowder: Can you imagine it?”

Summary

In a sleepy town near Bangor, Maine, Henry’s Nite-Owl is the only 24-hour store around. It mostly sells beer to the college students and gives old codgers like our narrator a place to “get together and talk about who’s died lately and ...

Do You Want to Build a Snowghoul? Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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.

Today is our 200th post! In celebration, we’re watching Sean Patrick O’Reilly’s Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, released in October 2016 and based on a graphic novel published in 2009. Spoilers ahead.

“Friends don’t eat each other. Unless they get very hungry.”

Summary

Once upon a dreary time, we find young Howard Lovecraft living not in his beloved Providence but in what appears to be dreary rural seclusion, in the dreary house of paternal relation Mary Lovecraft. Mother Sarah drags him to see father Winfield at an institution very much NOT Butler Hospital, run by Dr. West. Yes, the ethically challenged prototype of THAT Dr. West, who keeps Winfield locked babbling in a bare ...

Shadow Over Argentina: Mariana Enriquez’s “Under the Black Water”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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.

Today we’re reading Mariana Enriquez’s “Under the Black Water,” first published in English in Things We Lost in the Fire, translated by Megan McDowel. Spoilers ahead.

“She dreamed that when the boy emerged from the water and shook off the muck, the fingers fell off his hands.”

Summary

Marina Pinat, Buenos Aires DA, isn’t thrilled with the smug cop sitting in her office. He hasn’t brought a lawyer—after all, he says, he’s innocent. Never mind that Pinat has his voice on tape, saying “Problem solved. They learned how to swim.” The time stamp suggests that he at least knew that two young men were thrown into the Ricachuelo River. But then, that sort of thing ...

Tourist Traps: Shirley Jackson’s “The Summer People”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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.

Today we’re reading Shirley Jackson’s “The Summer People,” first published in 1948 in Come Along With Me. Spoilers ahead.

“I’d hate to leave myself,” Mr. Babcock said, after deliberation, and both he and Mrs. Allison smiled. “but I never heard of anyone ever staying out at the lake after Labor Day before.”

Summary

The Allisons’ country cottage stands on a grassy hill above a lake, seven miles from the nearest town. For seventeen summers now, Janet and Robert have happily endured its primitive accommodations—well water to be pumped, no electricity, that (for the neophyte city sojourner) unspeakable outhouse—for the sake of its rustic charms. And the locals are great people! The ones they’re acquainted with, you know, ...

The Most Scientifically Interesting Community in the U.S.: Welcome to Night Vale


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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.

Today we’re looking at the first episode of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor and voiced by Cecil Baldwin, first broadcast on March 15 2015 through Commonplace Books. Spoilers ahead.

“A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep.”

Anne’s Summary

Unlike Ruthanna, I was a Night Vale virgin, wandering innocent and vulnerable into its many-layered mysteries. So I took some friends with me. En route, we stopped at a cantina in the middle of nowhere (everything in the vicinity of Night Vale being in the middle of nowhere. Interesting phenomenon, this multiple-maybe-infinite middleness of ...

Dexter and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Real Estate Deal: Tim Pratt’s “Cinderlands”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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.

Today we’re looking at Tim Pratt’s “Cinderlands,” first published in the Drabblecast podcast in August 2010. Spoilers ahead.

“The lemons were small, and while they were yellow, it was less the yellow of cartoon suns and more the yellow of jaundiced skin or nicotine-stained teeth.”

Summary

Close to the end:

Dexter West wakes to the sound of claws on the hardwood floor of the apartment above—no. He’s moved into a house of his own; the noise is coming from the heating duct in his walk-in closet. He presses an ear to the metal and listens to the scuttle of tiny claws. Rats. In the duct. Or in the walls? He should get a cat. Back ...

Have No Fear, Or Else: Francis Stevens’s “Unseen – Unfeared”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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.

Today we’re looking at Francis Stevens’s (a.k.a. Gertrude Barrows Bennett’s) “Unseen – Unfeared,” first published in February 10, 1919 issue of People’s Favorite Magazine. You can read it more recently in Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s The Weird anthology. Spoilers ahead.

“My eyes fixed themselves, fascinated, on something that moved by the old man’s feet. It writhed there on the floor like a huge, repulsive starfish, an immense, armed, legged thing, that twisted convulsively.”

Summary

Narrator Blaisdell dines with detective Jenkins in a low-rent Italian restaurant near South Street. Jenkins chats about old Doc Holt, recently implicated in a poisoning murder. Only reason Holt was under suspicion was he lives amongst superstitious people, who swear he ...

Worse Than an Evil Twin: Edgar Allan Poe’s “William Wilson”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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.

Today we’re looking at Edgar Allan Poe’s “William Wilson,” first published in the October 1839 issue of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine. You can read it more recently in Lovecraft’s Monsters. Spoilers ahead.

“Gasping for breath, I lowered the lamp in still nearer proximity to the face. Were these—these the lineaments of William Wilson?”

Summary

William Wilson (not his real name, for that has become an object of scorn, horror and detestation due to the unpardonable criminality of his later years) feels the shadow of Death creep over him, and he now longs to explain what made him leap from relatively trivial wickedness to “the enormities of an Elah-Gabalus.” Hence this narrative.

Unopposed by weak-minded ...

Understanding the Reptilian Nature of the Divine: Robert Silverberg’s “Diana of the Hundred Breasts”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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.

Today we’re looking at Robert Silverberg’s “Diana of the Hundred Breasts,” first published in the February 1996 issue of Realms of Fantasy. Spoilers ahead.

“And for a moment—just a moment—I seemed to hear a strange music, an eerie high-pitched wailing sound like the keening of elevator cables far, far away.”

Summary

Tim Walker’s on his annual tour of Mediterranean ruins. He can afford to prowl the world without profession because, like older brother Charlie, he’s lucked into a seven-figure trust fund. Charlie’s also a genius with movie-star good looks, winner of trophies and prom queens, now a renowned professor of archaeology leading a dig at Ephesus. Tim’s always felt like “Charlie-minus, an inadequate simulacrum of the genuine ...

Othniel Marsh, (Probably) No Relation: Caitlín Kiernan’s “A Mountain Walked”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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.

Today we’re looking at Caitlín Kiernan’s “A Mountain Walked,” first published in 2014 in S.T. Joshi’s The Madness of Cthulhu anthology. Spoilers ahead.

“What was witnessed, for all its horror, I cannot wish to forget as it hints at a world even more distant and ultimately impervious to our understanding than the bygone ages and their fauna hinted at by our diggings.”

Summary

We read, verbatim, excerpts from the field journal of Arthur Lakes, made during an expedition to the Wyoming Territory in 1879. At Como Bluffs, with the assistance of “bone sharp” Bill Reed, Lakes and party have been unearthing the fossil treasures of the Jurassic and Cretaceous. At night the fellows tell tall tales ...

Monsters Bearing Bouquets: R.A. Kaelin’s “Mnemeros”


This post is by Ruthanna Emrys, Anne M. Pillsworth from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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.

Today we’re looking at R.A. Kaelin’s “Mnemeros,” first published in 2015 in Lynn Jamneck’s Dreams From the Witch House anthology. Spoilers ahead.

“Some names are like keys; they swing doors wide open that are best left shut.”

Summary

Leah Byrd recalls her youth in a rural Texas rotten with ghost towns. With the nearest “live” town two hours away, she made her own entertainment exploring abandoned buildings for relics like bent branding irons and old medicine bottles.

Her best leads come from an old “River Rat.” He tells her about strange carved stones down by the Brazos River, which were there before the Comanches. ‘Course, you don’t touch ‘em, or the tarry stuff they drip. ...