THEMED ISSUE: “A Night in the Lonesome October”

I’m very excited about this: As you all know, I occasionally do themed issues.  In addition to the other themes I’m doing this year, I want to do an issue based on Roger Zelazny‘s novel, A Night in the Lonesome October.  I have Trent Zelazny‘s blessing for this project.

During a dank and damp autumn in the late 19th century, good dog Snuff loyally accompanies a mysterious knife-wielding gentleman named Jack on his midnight rounds through the murky streets of London – collecting the grisly ingredients needed for unearthly rite that will take place not long after the death of the moon. But Snuff and his master are not alone. All manner of participants, both human and undead, are gathering from Soho to Whitehall with their ancient tools and their animal familiars, in preparation of the dread night when black magic will summon the Elder Gods back to the world. Some have come to open the gates…and some to close them. It is brave, devoted Snuff who must calculate the patterns of the Game and keep track of the Players – the witch, the mad monk, the vengeful vicar, the Count who sleeps by day, the Good Doctor and the hulking Experiment Man he fashioned from body parts…and a wild-card American shapeshifter named Larry Talbot – all the while keeping ogres at bay, and staying a dog-leap ahead of the Great Detective, who knows quite a bit more than he lets on.

click the image to buy the book

I recently blogged about Neil Gaiman’s short story sequel/tribute to aNitLO, Only the End of the World Again.  Neil Gaiman’s story is set in the same universe and it’s a tribute to Roger Zelazny’s awesome book.  I want this themed issue to be in that spirit.

The writer Trent Zelazny is Roger Zelazny’s son (by the way, you should definitely read Trent’s books).  I asked for, and received, his blessing for this, with a caveat: We can’t violate copyright.  Roger Zelazny used a lot of public domain characters for A Night in the Lonesome October: Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein, etc, and you can do the same and create a tribute story with them or with your own characters.

But let me be VERY clear: This is to be a tribute without violating copyright.  Neil Gaiman’s story does not violate copyright because his protagonist is Larry Talbot.  If his protagonist had been Snuff the dog, that would be a copyright violation.  Understand?

A Night in the Lonesome October is a very unique Lovecraftian book, and my desire is to honor the book and pay tribute to it.  I guess it’s my way of saying “thank you” to Trent’s Dad for helping me to get through a terrible childhood.  His books (and of course many others) made my life more bearable.

I’d like to have at least 4 or 5 stories for that issue; please send your submission to michaeldaviswriter@gmail.com , with the subject “A Night in the Lonesome October theme”.  And maybe this goes without saying, but if you haven’t read the book or Neil Gaiman’s story, please do not bother sending me a submission.

Finally, here’s part of the email from Trent.  It made my day, and I hope it does the same for you:

…you have my blessing 🙂 …And thank you, I’m thrilled the work means enough to you to inspire this. My father would be smiling.

I know I am.

P.S.  Did you know there’s a SONG tribute to A Night in the Lonesome October?!!?  Listen to it for free here!

11 responses to “THEMED ISSUE: “A Night in the Lonesome October”

  1. I want this book. I guess it is out of print because new copies are ridiculously expensive.

  2. Great choice! This is one of my favorite novels by my favorite author. I make a point of reading it every year around Halloween. I can’t wait to see the issue!

  3. We just happen to have a copy of this on the shelf (along with about 17 other Zelazny books)…and I just pulled it off to read.

    What sort of deadline are we looking at? Are you just accepting ‘until filled’?

    • Deadline: I’m going with August 31 of this year, because I’d really like to do this themed issue in October, for obvious reasons. 🙂

  4. I’d very much like to be a part of this. I have a small website dedicated to Zelazny’s works and recently I wrote a post about hypothetical sequels I’d like to see and an anthology of Lonesome October tales topped my list. I never thought we’d actually get it, as Zelazny’s works seem less well known with each passing year, but I’m pleased beyond words that you’re putting this together.

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