Three years ago Alfred Philbrick, who has been somewhat shunned by his upper class peers for his occult activities, purchased a house built over Wookie Hole Cave, a location long believed to be a locus of supernatural activity. He has invited the Investigators (three of whom are his peers and share his interest in the occult, the other three being servants of Philbrick’s friends) to a dinner party where he promises to show them “a curiosity.”
“Curiosities” were spectacles displayed and enjoyed by the upper crust of Victorian England and generally had occult overtones, as things occult and mystical were very much in vogue at the time.
The traveling exhibit of a mummy arrived in Chicago for a two week showing, beginning Tuesday the 13th of March until Tuesday the 27th of March, 1934. This was the body of Akh (Axe), a lesser known priestess of Isis.
At 5:00 am on Wednesday the 28th, head curator Miles Jennings arrived at work to supervise the dismantling and shipping of the exhibit. He was shocked to find the bloody remains of Klaus Huntsman: the night watchman and custodian. He also discovered that the mummy had been stolen. Mr. Jennings has asked the Investigators to look into the matter, hoping to delay the attention of both police and press for fear of scandal.
The cover for Golden Goblin Press’s Heroes of Red Hook
The fine folks over at Golden Goblin Press tipped us off that their newest kickstarter project is almost ready. We couldn’t be more excited about their newest fiction offering. While you know that we’re going to post the link as soon as it is up, go ahead and get your mouth watering over what we can release to you so far (story details after the fold)
Heroes of Red Hook, the fifth Kickstarter from Golden Goblin Press, is a compilation of short cosmic horror stories set in the 20’s and 30’s. It is our 3rd fiction collection, following Tales of Cthulhu Invictus and Dread Shadows in Paradise. Heroes of Red Hook will be a 100,000 word collection, twice the size of our previous collections. What makes this project unique in that it features protagonists who are immigrant, minorities, independent women, non-Christian, and members of the LGBT. Our heroes and heroines struggle to overcome not only the dark horrors beyond mankind’s understanding, but a society seeking to deny them basic human rights. Kickstarter launches on June 20th, and ends on July 25th.
Dr. Doran is back in his third Serialized story. If you’re new to Andrew Doran, he’s an Adventurer who fights the minions and monsters of the Cthulhu Mythos. The first two novels came out as serials before being published as novels. There are a few ways that you can catch up. You can get the first story, The Statement of Andrew Doran, for free by reading it on Wattpad. Or you can purchase it on Amazon for only $0.99. Book 2 is called Andrew Doran at the Mountains of Madness, and you can find it on Amazon as well. Both are also on Audible and iTunes as audio books.
This time around, Dr. Doran is forced to face the return of an enemy he thought long gone as they race to get their hands on the dreaded Book of Eibon.
Despite a misprint in their onsite book; Shoggoth.net Group will most decidedly NOT be at Origins Game Fair, nor are we associated with their Cthulhuthon. Although this was communicated to Origins staff some time ago, it appears that they have made an over site. We wish Rogue Cthulhu good luck with their further endeavors.
I was fortunate enough to be advanced a copy of this book prior to publication. And I mean fortunate. This book is destined to generate strong sales, firstly on the strength of the names involved (Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell), and then on the strength of the poem and stories included. Stephanie M. Wytovich leads off with an effective piece of verse, which leads into what I think is the best story in the book: Brian Kirk’s “Picking Splinters From a Sex Slave.” That story illustrates what lengths a person might go to to accomodate a loved one, in exquisite detail. The actual tableau is revolting, but the internal logic is inescapable. The tone is perfect. “Splinters” is followed by Lisa Mannetti and then Neil Gaiman. Both stories are good — not pedestrian, but are overshadowed by the excellence of Kirk’s piece. Christopher Cooke’s “Dominion” levels up one from those and leads into a tetralogy of really effective horror tales by Mercedes M. Yardley, Paul Tremblay, Damien Angelica Walters, and Richard Thomas, before Clive Barker takes center stage with his “Coming To Grief”. I’m not going to say that this story is as good as “classic Barker” pieces like “In the Hills, the Cities”, but it is a Barker story, and has a certain resonance. The second-best story, John F.D. Taff’s “Cards for His Spokes, Coins for His Fare”, which has distinct Kingian undertones, is set in the early 70s of my own childhood and morphs into a fairly classic ghost yarn. Cheers for the setting and characters. Amanda Gowin contributes a decent piece, “Cellar’s Dog”, with a good portrait of po’ white trash, and Kevin Lucia adds “When We All Met at the Ofrenda”, which again hits me especially, as I live in the Southwest and am familiar with the lore that contributes to the setting and setup. That’s followed by good pieces from Maria Alexander and Josh Malerman, before the capstone, Ramsey Campbell’s “The Place of Revelation”, which does not disappoint. Strong, strong, strong. Pieces that find beauty in grotesquerie, love amid the ruins, that entice you with beauty and magic and then hang you on a meathook, still wanting more. Gutted will have out your liver and lights in an instant, after you give your heart willingly. An easy five stars.
Lovecraftian anthologies tend to be uneven, especially earlier ones, where the stable of writers was fuller. This is a later and smoother version, albeit with the work of some older and/or completely unexpected scribes. The level of craftsmanship is very high, and everyone clearly knows the material, which is another common issue. I enjoyed it. Caitlin Kiernan’s story was the best, I thought (and think).