The October issue (issue #18) of The Lovecraft eZine will be published in about 10 days. As usual, it will be available here at Lovecraft eZine and for Kindle and Nook.
This is going to be an absolutely amazing issue. I have eight — that’s right, EIGHT — stories for you, all riffing on the A Night in the Lonesome October theme. I also have a wonderful essay on the book, and a touching introduction by Trent Zelazny, Roger Zelazny’s son.
Here’s a preview, and the table of contents.
A Counting Game, by Derek Ferreira: I had to play my part, just as my master was out playing his. He had not yet returned from his meeting with the Detective. But that didn’t change what my orders were. The Count was in residence, he was playing the game, and I had to make sure just what side he fell on. My master had left me the knife that had slit the Count’s throat on the dusty Borgo Pass, years ago. Shame it didn’t take, but at least the blade would provide me the connection I needed to work my spell. I found a patch of dirt in the back of our apartment that wasn’t visible from the street and dragged the knife there between my beak. I dropped it and started scratching the circle into the dirt. Body or no body the diagram was something ingrained in me. I paused only to gulp down a deliciously squirmy worm and was thankful for the repast. Divination is hungry work. I kicked up the dirt and moved around the circle, my wings bowed to the depths and raised to the stars just as it must always be. I focused on the knife and I focused on the Count and the moment the sun climbed high enough to cast its rays down onto my circle, I had my answer…
Carnacki: The Parliament of Owls, by William Meikle: “I have thought long and hard whether to tell this particular tale,” Carnacki began. “For it is by far the strangest of all the adventures I have ever related to you chaps, and if I were told it by another, I would struggle to believe its particulars. Please bear with me, for this will become rather outlandish, and at some times positively comical. “It starts, like all good stories do, with a knock on my front door last Friday, the 31st of October…”
Twenty to Life, by Evan Dicken: The Nords had someone cornered on the landing. I could hear them roughing him up as I made my way to the prison library. Laughter echoed down the stairwell, twisted by the strange acoustics into the yips of wolves tussling over a fresh kill. Despite my size I can be quiet as a cold front, but stealth would’ve been useless with so many of them crowding the stairs, so I didn’t bother. “I thought trolls couldn’t come out in the day?” The lead Nord turned to face me, heavy, tattooed arms crossed in front of his chest…
The Great and Groovy Game, by Joshua Wanisko: Charlotte is my human. I prefer that that term to the “master” or “mistress” used by other companions. Those titles seems increasingly anachronistic in this modern world, and further, I’ve been around for rather longer than Charlotte and much like the Prescient Pig on the other side, I’m the one in charge. “This is ridiculous,” I said, “to be this late in the game and still not know all the players…”
My Least Immemorial Year, by Zach Shephard: “Ah, yes,” Wil said, “the Great Messenger of the Old Ones. He Who Walks Among Us. Very nasty creature, from all I’ve heard. And you say he’s got a cult in the area?” “They’re trying to summon the Old Ones. But I don’t think they’re a part of our Game, so I don’t see how—” “Oh, silly fox. You’re new to this, are you? Very good then, allow me to explain. You see, once the Game starts, there will be Openers and Closers.” “I already know the basics of—” “The Openers, you see, will attempt to open—hence the name—a rift that will allow the Old Ones to return to our world on October the 31st, under the light of the full moon. The Closers are rather opposed to such an event, being convinced that the Old Ones would devour us all, or some such business. I’m certain you already know which side your master is on—” “Yes, and I also kno—” “—but the trick is in discovering where everyone else’s loyalties lie. This delightful mouse-friend of yours, for example—can he be trusted once the Game starts? Perhaps you’re not even on the same side. Wouldn’t that be exciting!”
The Gotterdammerung Gavotte, by Josh Reynolds: It was the 31st of October, 1921, and six men were discussing the end of the world. “The stars are right,” Semi Dual said, softly, peering at the others gathered in the sitting room of No. 472 Cheyne Walk over the tips of his intertwined fingers. Dual was an astrologer and astronomer without peer and his tone was that of a man who spoke a harsh truth. “The stars are always right,” Harley Warren drawled laconically, lighting a cigarette. Dual gave Warren an irritated glare…
Big D, Little D, by Edward Morris: He was a bat, and his name was Needle,and when he came back home to the little bat-bed I made for him long ago with Mama’s help,he was barely recognizable as anything but a drowned rat with wings. He didn’t talk long. Needle died. My familiar winged in through my open window at night, and expired by sunrise. I howled, and tore at my face with my own claws. But not for long. It was a far, circuitous way Needle flew, ensorcellment or none. Far, through the Gate before it was closed, and sideways, zig-zag, whiplash through the mirror in my little room, the one that never exactly stays in place. The journey was too much for him…
The Blackbird Whistling, or Just After, by Orrin Grey: We lost. It’s over. That’s it, nothing more to say. The end of everything. The fire’s burning blue now, shot through with tongues of green. And soon there’ll be worse things. Fissures will open up in the ground, full of nameless darkness. The rains will start; first blood, then frogs. The moon will devour the sun, the mechanism of the heavens will break down and one by one the stars will be ground out. The earth will crawl away from the sea. The sea will swallow the earth. All the lost and forgotten things will come out of caves and closets, dark forests and locked rooms. Men will turn into beasts. And that will only be the beginning…
Fallen Books and Other Subtle Clues in Zelazny’s “A Night in the Lonesome October”, by Christopher S. Kovacs: “And he proceeded to tell me the story of how a number of the proper people are attracted to the proper place in the proper year on a night in the lonesome October when the moon shines full on Halloween and the way may be opened for the return of the Elder Gods to Earth, and of how some of these people would assist in the opening of the way for them while others would strive to keep the way closed. For ages, the closers have won, often just barely, and there were stories of a shadowy man, half-mad, a killer, a wanderer, and his dog, who always showed up to attempt the closing…”
It’s going to be our best issue yet. Please spread the word.
Don’t own the book? Buy it here: A Night in the Lonesome October.
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CAN’T WAIT!!!! I read “A Night” every October.
Wow! Can’t wait…
Looks awesome. Here’s hoping this becomes an annual tradition.
That’s a great idea. Really is. I’m going to ask Trent Zelazny if he minds if I do that.
Oh, this is gonna be great…
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