Thursday, September 12, 2013
Most Peculiar Mummy
"Sticks" by Karl Edward Wagner: One of Wagner's four greatest stories, "Sticks" is a terrific piece of Cthulhu Mythology, with an absolutely riveting first half.
"The Barrow Troll" by David Drake: Typically tough-minded piece of revisionist historical fantasy from Drake.
"The Glove" by Fritz Leiber: Blackly humourous San Francisco-era piece from Leiber, set in a familiar apartment building for Leiber fans.
"The Closer of the Way" by Robert Bloch: Droll bit of meta-fiction from the creator of Psycho.
"Dark Winner" by William F. Nolan: Fascinating bit of Bradbury-tinged horror-nostalgia that would have been right at home on The Twilight Zone.
"Ladies in Waiting" by Hugh B. Cave: Solid haunted-house riff.
"White Moon Rising" by Dennis Etchison: A non-supernatural psychological thriller from Etchison. Stylistically precise, thematically mysterious.
"Graduation" by Richard Christian Matheson: Epistolary creep-out.
"Mirror, Mirror" by Ray Russell: Fun, minor piece.
The House of Cthulhu by Brian Lumley: Lovecraftian sword-and-sorcery.
"Antiquities" by John Crowley: Mummies wreak havoc in England in a most peculiar way.
"A Weather Report from the Top of the Stairs" by James Sallis and David Lunde: Adaptation of a famous Gahan Wilson cartoon ("And then we'll get him!") with two different endings.
"The Scallion Stone" by Basil A. Smith: A very M.R. Jamesian horror story from a writer who avoided publication until after his death.
"The Inglorious Rise of the Catsmeat Man" by Robin Smyth: Very much an Ambrose Bierce/Roald Dahl-like exercise in gross-out horror-comedy.
"The Pawnshop" by Charles E. Fritch: Entertaining deal-with-the-devil story.
"Le Miroir"by Robert Aickman: An even-more-ambiguous-than-usual story from the eternally ambiguous Aickman.
"The Willow Platform" by Joseph Payne Brennan: Nice bit of regional Maine Lovecraft-tinged cosmic horror in the backwoods.
"The Dakwa" by Manly Wade Wellman: The Southeast backwoods play host to a particularly gruesome Native-American monster.
"Goat" by David Campton: Really solid, evocative piece of particularly British small-town horror.
"The Chimney" by Ramsey Campbell: Award-winning story of childhood horrors that may or may not be real.
The first anthology of stories from Schiff's semi-prozine Whispers really almost bursts with heady goodness. In all: Highly recommended.