Posts Tagged With: weird fiction

Red Equinox Audible Review

red-equinoxRed Equinox has received praise as a must-read for Lovecraft fans; and it is! Now you have a chance to listen to it, too. Even though I have already read this book, I was excited to listen to the audio-book. I really enjoyed revisiting the characters in this story, and reading the book beforehand only enhanced the experience of listening to it. Continue reading

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Book review: Sing Me Your Scars

Title: Sing Me Your Scars

Author: Damien Angelica Walters

Publisher: Apex Publications

Date Published: 2015

Category: weird fiction, small press, female authors, short stories, horror

I haven’t felt this way about a collection of short stories since I read Thomas Ligotti’s Songs of a Dead Dreamer. Walters’s collection of short stories is haunting, creepy, and beautiful. The author makes mundane terrors seems otherworldly, and the otherworldly seems strangely familiar. I seriously needed to pause in between tales due to the heaviness of each story.

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Book Review: Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties

Leinster GardensTitle: Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties

Author: Jan Edwards

Publisher: Alchemy Press

Date published: March 13, 2015

Category: weird fiction,short stories, ghost stories, supernatural fiction, horror

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The Lovely Ladies of Supernatural Horror in Literature

frankenstein book cover original

In honor of Women in Horror month, let’s celebrate the pioneers of weird fiction and Gothic horror! Many of these early works are in the public domain and can be read for free. I have provided links when available. Continue reading

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Book review: A Season in Carcosa

season in carcosa A Season in Carcosa (Miskatonic River Press, 2012), edited by Joseph S. Pulver Sr, is a collection of 22 short stories that are based on Robert Chamber’s King in Yellow mythos.  The request to potential contributors of this collection stated: “No reprints. No HPL anything…This is a book about madness, altered realities, splintered minds, and what is behind the mask.” The stories in A Season in Carcosa range from good to AMAZING. Most stories range in the ‘very good’ category. A few were well-developed but the writing style was not my cup of tea. I have a confession… Continue reading

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Book Review: The Strange Dark One by W.H. Pugmire

The Strange Dark One: Tales of Nyarlathotep

W.H. Pugmire

Miskatonic River Press
2012

the strange dark one cover

When I was young I loved monsters. I wanted to tell these poor things that I cared for them and understood them even if the rest of society did not. I always imagined myself and these creatures spending time together as two misunderstood souls. Pugmire’s work brings me back to these fantasies.

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Horror for the Holidays

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Horror for the Holidays is a collection of 26 Lovecraftian tales published by Miskatonic River Press. It was published in 2011 and was edited by Scott David Aniolowski. The figure of Krampus is featured on the cover. He is standing beside a 19th century-garbed evil elf-child and what appears to be a sack full of dead children. Despite this cover, the collection features holidays throughout the year, not just Christmas.

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Weird fiction writers and the ladies who loved them

Since reading Coffee with Poe (Andrew Barger) I have become enamored with the relationship between Poe and Whitman. I’m not sure why I have such a fascination with the love lives of my favorite authors: Edgar A. Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Robert E. Howard. Maybe it is due to the unrequited nature of these doomed relationships, making them somewhat tragic and therefore more romantic. If any of these authors were capable of settling down and raising a family like a normal chum, it is doubtful that their writings would be as prolific or as haunting. None of these authors wrote as a hobby to pass the time on the weekends. It seems these authors were compelled to write out of some frantic exorcism of inner demons or channeling of horrors lurking in the anima mundi.

edgar-allan-poe whitman_portrait5

Perhaps my fascination is an interest in the women themselves: Sarah Helen Whitman, Sonia Greene, and Novalyne Price. All three were strong, well educated, and opinionated. Sarah Helen Whitman was a poet in her own right and also had an interest in the occult. Sonia was a writer and a self-employed business woman. Novalyne Price was a school teacher who had a love of knowledge and writing.

These three authors had intense and perhaps unhealthy relationships with other women that increased their inaccessibility. Lovecraft’s overbearing mother dominated his early years and haunted him even after her death. His aunts later took her place albeit less intensely. Robert E Howard’s devotion to his mother was so intense that he could not live without her. Poe tended to a sickly young wife who spent years wasting away with tuberculosis.

While there is a captivating book written by Robert E Howard’s love interest, Novalyne Price; Sonia Greene’s memory of her relationship with HP Lovecraft is just a few pages long. Poe and Whitman had a very public relationship, with each writing poem to each other as well as a multitude of letters.

novalyne price Robert E Howard

Their devotion to their art, the other women in their lives, and perhaps just their eccentric personalities made them inaccessible. Perhaps it is this inaccessibility, in addition to the fascinating minds behind their stories, which made them so desirable.

Poe was the ladies’ man out of the three. Many of his poems were to the various loves of his lives. We don’t hear what Lovecraft has to say of his relationship with Sonia. However he did write her an eldritch Christmas poem:

Once more the ancient feast returns,
And the bright hearth domestic burns
With Yuletide’s added blaze;
So, too, may all your joys increase
Midst floods of mem’ry, love, and peace,
And dreams of Halcyon days.

(from: http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/poetry/p432.aspx )

HP Lovecraft and Sonia Greene

In letters to each other, Bob mentions to Lovecraft that he is  “going with” a girl. Lovecraft visited Sonia Greene in Conneticut and didn’t find it significant enough to relay to Howard, instead spending a paragraph describing the geography of the area. (A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E Howard, 2011, Hippocampus Press)

I find these relationships so romantic because none of them are the typical boring love story. Thinking of Sonia Greene and Lovecraft retyping a horror tale on their honeymoon, Poe and Whitman spending their nights in St John Cathedral burial ground, and Robert and Price driving around the Texas plains talking about his yarns just makes me smile!

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Book Review: The Sea of Ash by Scott Thomas

The Sea of Ash by Scott Thomas

the-sea-of-ash-front-cover

The Sea of Ash is told from a first person perspective by a school teacher who has won the lottery and taken up a hobby of collecting rare books. He has become obsessed with a rare copy of  a Victorian doctor’s journal. The teacher goes on a journey to see the sites that are described within the journal. He starts off as a self-proclaimed “tourist” but ends up getting touched (literally) by the mysteries and horrors described by the doctor.

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