Monday, October 29, 2012

recent read(s); Wrapping up the Halloween reads

To round out my 31 reads for October, I turned to my Kindle while flying cross-country.  The plane ride gave me time for some novellas.

I've been curious about Brian Lumley, especially after learning he's written some sword-&-mythos tales.  As he describes it, he writes Lovecraftian tales, but his protagonists fight back (rather than faint.) Recently, some of his Cthulhu Mythos collection e'books went on sale.

I read two novellas, found in the collection, The Taint and Other Novellas.

"The Horror at Oakdeene" - early effort in a strong Lovecraft mold, but with enough original touches to  have its own voice.  A writer who moonlights at a sanatorium finds himself drawn into the madness of a patient who dealt a little too closely with the occult.

"Born of the Winds" - this tale, though having a very convenient setup, was a good blend of the Wendigo legend with other Lovecraftian elements.

A few tales from Wildside Press e'book, The Cthulhu Mythos Megapack.

"The Graveyard Rats" by Henry Kuttner - I have read this before, but I want to get more Kuttner in my diet.  An unscrupulous Salem grave digger meets his fate at the hand of body-thieving rats - big rats.

"Envy, the Gardens of Ynath, and the Sin of Cain" by Darrell Schweitzer - this one surprised me, it is very good.  A lyrical tale of a domineering friendship gone bad.  A "black stone" even makes an appearance.

"Toadface" by Mark McLaughlin - somewhat humorous take on what happens when you displease the locals of Innsmouth.

That makes 31.

(For those interested, the megapack also includes "The Events at Poroth Farm" by T. E. D. Klein.)


I finally watched the THRILLER episode of "Pigeons from Hell."  Currently, you won't find a more faithful Robert E. Howard adaptation.  My only dislike (and it is a small one) is that their twist ending was somewhat different, telegraphed a bit too early, and wasn't delivered with the same punch as the original story.

I read Karl Edward Wagner's "The River of Night's Dreaming", and then watched the episode of the old cable erotica series THE HUNGER, which adapted it.  I enjoyed the story which had a lot going on, and is one of those surreal stories where you can connect some of the threads, but nothing is spelled out.  It seems a lot of readers focus on the kinkier elements and miss the strong element of The King in Yellow being involved.  Predictably, the t.v. episode has no mention of The King in Yellow and is only tangentially related to the source material - and it is bland.

Happy Halloween, everyone!


  1. I've heard good thing about Lumley. I also liked that line about his characters and I have picked up some copies of his books but haven't thrown them into the Que just yet.

    That definitely perks my interest on the KEW tale, I never knew he did anything with the King in Yellow (which I only read earlier this year).

    And I am looking forward to these Wildside Megapacks.

  2. I also took advantage of Lumley's ebooks being on sale earlier this year. I've only read "The Horror at Oakdene" so far, but I really enjoyed it.

    More Kuttner in your diet is always a good thing. (Or Moore Kuttner, if you prefer.) I'm hoping to read a lot of Kuttner over the holidays.

    I have that Megapack, but I've not had time to read anything in it yet.

    I need to look up the KEW story. I don't think I've read that one. It's been a while since I read "The King in Yellow", too.

  3. The river of night's dreaming, such a great story. Definitely some King in Yellow influence there.