I love the hide of the November 1946 insist of Queer Tales , the work of Boris Dolgov. I love the colors, for one part. And obviously I love the prolonged-limbed female figure, the contemplative fishman, and the relaxing sea mountain with its arches and spires, and the sea dragon is true ideal. Very comely!
Within the help of its terrific hide this insist also affords reviews by many writers we are attracted to right here at MPorcius Fiction Log, so let’s embrace the abnormal and study them out!
“Spawn of the Green Abyss” by C. Hall Thompson
The gorge hide painting of this insist of Queer Tales illustrates C. Hall Thompson’s “Spawn of the Green Abyss.” In March of 2020 I read Thompson’s narrative “The Will of Claude Ashur” and relatively cherished it.
So I formula this one with some hope.
“Spawn of the Green Abyss” is the sealed testimonial, to be opened after his loss of life, of a brain surgeon who has true been convicted of the extinguish of his better half and is scheduled to be accomplished! He tells us that he welcomes his drawing shut loss of life attributable to he sees extinction as a release from a lifestyles burdened with files no man ought to soundless ever comprise to endure! (Whereas traditional science fiction romanticizes the hunt for files and means that files of the universe makes your lifestyles better, in a Lovecraftian tale a man who learns something fresh about the universe normally will get killed or pushed insane.)
In his memoir of 24 or so pages the narrator relates the hellish adventure he skilled in the tiny seaside metropolis of Kalesmouth in Fresh Jersey, ideal speak in the Union . Our boy went there for a apt prolonged rest, eager to alleviate the stress constructed up sawing open people’s skulls and digging round of their grooves and ridges. In Kalesmouth he grew to alter into thinking a couple of essential extinct house on the tip of the peninsula, a decrepit and tear pile he modified into once urged modified into once house to reclusive extinct Lazarus Heath, retired sailor, and his comely daughter Cassandra, whom he introduced help from international after being shipwrecked on some Atlantic island for over a yr. One evening, darkish and graceful Cassandra with her sad eyes and sad hair came to the brain surgeon’s bungalow to quiz for his attend–her father modified into once relatively sick. Doc tended to Mr.
Heath for two weeks, up until his loss of life, at the same time falling in admire with the mysterious Cassandra. The Heath case modified into once an queer one; no longer handiest would this extinct codger be taciturn for prolonged stretches and then deliriously babbling about some submarine goddess, but he had scaly skin, admire a fish’s, and abnormal openings in his neck, admire gills! When no one modified into once having a research he would sneak away to a cove in the help of the house the build there comprise been some queer extinct pillars, and it modified into once there that, on the very day our narrator proposed to Cassandra, Lazarus Heath modified into once chanced on slow, though the narrator’s autoposy showed no set of what killed him.
Cassandra and our hero married and moved to Fresh York Metropolis, but it wasn’t prolonged sooner than Cassandra pleased her husband they ought to soundless scuttle help to the enormous and fish-smelly Heath House. There, because the months went by, Cassandra grew distant from her husband, spending as mighty time as imaginable alone, evident at him with hate-filled eyes when she belief he modified into once trying to receive into her father’s locked library, the predominant to which hung from a necklace she consistently wore. It modified into once as if the shocking extinct house, and the sea that nearly surrounded it, modified into once stealing Cassandra from him. Cassie even began rising scales and gills admire her father!
The stormy evening the surgeon learned Cassandra modified into once pregnant, and she collapsed after telling him it modified into once no longer his little one, the brain surgeon took the predominant and acquired into the library, to read Lazarus Heath’s diary and be taught the tainted truth of Cassandra’s origin and the probability to all mankind that lurks underneath the waves! From the library window our sawbones watched climb up from the cove the creature which had fathered the part rising in Cassandra’s womb, a slimy blob monster admire an unholy fusion of reptile and amoeba! Simplest by killing Cassandra, who in a lucid second begs for loss of life, can the surgeon cut the connection to our ground world of this prince of a diabolical speed prolonged exiled to the briny deep and send it help from whence it came.
“Spawn of the Green Abyss” is a truly ethical Lovecraftian narrative. Thompson is a well informed creator: the tale is thick with atmosphere attributable to Thompson’s highly efficient descriptions of the settings and characters, and he ably makes spend of such formulation as Greek mythology (the sirens from The Odyssey are, we be taught in Heath’s forbidden library, in accordance to the snide beings who in historical times comprise been banished to the abyss–in the narrative they spend their seductive songs to thrill in the help of such people as Lazarus and Cassandra Heath of their campaign to beat the bottom world) and our anxieties about intercourse to add dimensions of hobby and drama to the narrative. I’m capable of positively counsel this one to all you followers of Yog-Sothery accessible.
“Spawn of the Green Abyss” modified into once reprinted in Kurt Singer’s 1968 anthology Tales of the Uncanny , the hide of which contains a form of troll dolls designed by Thomas Dam which might maybe maybe be in actuality (I hear) the thought for predominant motion photos.
Robert M. Trace chosen it for 1992’s Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos , and S. T. Joshi incorporated the narrative in his enormous (over 600 pages) 2014 anthology A Mountain Walked .
“Let’s Play ‘Poison'” by Ray Bradbury
Here’s a ethical but no longer in particular outstanding narrative of handiest three pages or so. A trainer quits instructing after a mob of his students murders one among their classmates. He conceives a considerably irrational hatred of youngsters. When, after seven years of retirement, he is dragged help into the instructing profession for a rapid stint as an more than a couple of, his adversarial attitude and rage at their childish games rapid inspires amongst his students a highly efficient antipathy against him.
The kids’ campaign of harassment, by probability or by comprise, climaxes in the instructor’s loss of life, which Bradbury marks with a suave little gimmick.
A stable portion of labor, “Let’s Play ‘Poison'” has been reprinted continuously in Bradbury collections and in about a anthologies. Here’s my more than a couple of to focus on in confidence to these that draw no longer already know that the surreal image on the 1972 Eastern edition of Bradbury’s 1947 series Unlit Carnival capabilities a girl’s naked ass. Lewd!
“A Collector of Stones” by August Derleth
I even comprise handed a true but cruel verdict on just a few passe or in actuality wicked Derleth reviews at this weblog, but am pleased to file that this five-page narrative is inoffensive, even mildly dazzling.
“A Collector of Stones” is a steady-weight-hearted humor narrative. A corpulent filthy rich man who has a essential property in the nation is pushed by a mania to glean. His eccentric ardour is to glean stones, nothing fancy, true mundane paving stones and the admire. He has constructed total homes on his property out of the stones he collects, and hundreds of feet of meandering walks.
In the end he finds four stones in a distant wood, stones that will probably be ideal for the stroll he is at the second laying. He does no longer mark that he has stumbled on a decayed family cemetery, these are gravestones, the names on them being nearly effaced.
The narrative’s gimmick is that after he has laid them in his stone course the ghosts whose graves he has unwittingly robbed are attempting and ship the stones help to the build they belong.
Higher than common amongst the Derleth reviews I even comprise read; I did no longer in actuality laugh at any of the jokes, but I did no longer in finding them irritatingly wicked, either. “A Collector of Stones” has been reprinted in about a Derleth collections, in conjunction with 1948’s No longer Long for this World and That’s No longer Ineffective , a 2009 series with an intro by David Drake you might want to maybe presumably read at Drake’s internet scheme right here that describes Drake’s assembly with Derleth and Derleth’s affect on Drake’s occupation.
“Lizzie Borden Took an Axe…” by Robert Bloch
The eighth page of this insist of Queer Tales , nestled between a fleshy-page ad for a truss (“Snappy attend for Smash!”) and a fleshy-page ad for the Rosicrucians (“Are You in Tune with the Endless ?”) is a fleshy page ad for a radio conceal, End Tuned for Dismay . End Tuned for Dismay modified into once a 15-minute program which offered dramatizations of news by Robert Bloch. “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe.
..” modified into once one such narrative and you’re going to hear to the radio version of it at the catch archive right here , and browse a chunk of writing about End Tuned for Dismay by Karl Schadow in The Outmoded Radio Cases right here .
“Lizzie Borden Took an Axe…” is a suitable though pedestrian narrative. Our narrator is in admire with a girl, Anita, who lives in a essential decrepit house with her eccentric uncle, a dude who is reputed to be a wizard who puts hexes on people’s farms. The uncle retains Anita below tight management, forbidding her marriage to the narrator.
Anita also claims that in her desires an incubus in the receive of a sad mist involves harass her.
In the end Anita telephones our hero in a terror, and he rushes over to the creepy extinct house to in finding the uncle slow, his head demolished by a blow from an axe.
Anita’s description of her discovery of the body reminds the narrator of the narrative of Lizzie Borden, and Bloch makes spend of up a page and a half of the six-page narrative touching on the famed Borden extinguish case. Anita and the narrator separate when procuring for clues, and when he sees Anita again she has a sad mist about her face and the axe in her hands, and is outwardly stalking him! Our narrator overpowers Anita, the mist vanishes and she faints, and then our hero has to grab into consideration if presumably the incubus is true and has been possessing Anita, forcing her to murder, or if stress is making her crazy to extinguish people and him crazy ample to appreciate the sad mist. If the incubus is true, presumably it modified into once an incubus that fifty or whatever years previously drove Lizzie Borden to massacre her of us!
The narrator falls asleep, and when he wakes up Anita has been slain with the axe, presumably by him. Used to be he also possessed by the incubus? Or is he true a nut?
A routine portion of labor.
Is there in actuality any reason to cobble together the Lizzie Borden narrative with satanism and wizardry? Feels arbitrary. “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe…” has regarded in a bunch of Bloch collections, admire The Skull of the Marquis de Sade , and anthologists admire Peter Haining and Martin H. Greenberg comprise also reprinted it.
“Frogfather” by Manly Wade Wellman
Ranson Cuff is a corpulent man everybody hates. The richest man on this stretch of swamp nation, Cuff made his money catering to Northerners who come down right here to hunt and fish at his camps, and now is a money lender who holds the mortgages to so a lot of the locals’ properties and boats.
The narrator tells the tale of Cuff’s final day, when he modified into once a teen, working for Cuff, nearly his slave, to attend his aunt repay her debt to the particular person.
Cuff loves frog’s legs, and on that memorable evening he, the narrator, and an Indian who speaks better English than either Cuff or our hero but ended up in Cuff’s exercise, build out on a boat to hunt frogs with which to stuff Cuff’s pie gap. Cuff directs his paddlers to a series the Indian warns him to steer sure of, attributable to it is a long way there that resides Khongabassi, the father of all frogs who has lived for the reason that initiating of time. Cuff thinks right here’s ridiculous nonsense, and fires the Indian on the build. Obviously, all one of the essential best ways by draw of the bend in the river, the boat is overturned by a frog a minimum of nine feet prolonged which carries Cuff down to its honest lair but permits the narrator to crawl. The Indian finds the narrator and together they ought to contrive a story of how Cuff vanished that’s no longer going to ship more ignorant white males to the lair of the Frogfather.
The build formulation of this switcheroo narrative (a man who hunts little frogs is hunted by a essential frog!) are obviously extinct and evident, but Wellman affords the setting and the characters personalities, and he treats the topic topic with seriousness and sincerity, and so I loved it. “Frogfather” affords a stable distinction to Bloch’s “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe…”; Bloch affords his characters no personality at all and he does no longer ship extinct strategies admire terrified homes and demons and wizards to lifestyles by employing them skillfully and sincerely–as an more than a couple of he attracts attention to how effectively extinct they are and begs the reader’s forgiveness for utilizing them by having his narrator order recursive “meta” stuff admire, “There ought to no longer any narrative-terrified homes looming on lonely hillsides. But Anita lived in a single….There ought to no longer any gaunt, fanatical extinct males who brood over sad books…yet Anita’s uncle, Gideon Godfrey, modified into once this kind of man.” A sluggish formula that reminds you you are reading a story as an more than a couple of of helping you receive caught up in the narrative.
“Frogfather” has been reprinted in two Wellman collections and the anthology One hundred Creepy Little Creatures AKA One hundred Creepy Little Creature Reviews .
As I even comprise acknowledged sooner than, Wellman is any individual whose work I ought to soundless are attempting and change into more conversant in.
A rather ethical prick of news. After my wishy washy response to the reviews I read in Avon Yarn Reader about a blogposts previously, it is a long way supreme to read some rapid reviews I’m capable of receive thinking about. Dorothy McIlwraith, who edited Queer Tales from 1940 to the journal’s death in 1954, build together some decent artwork and fiction for this insist.
More rapid reviews in the next installment of MPorcius Fiction Log.