With WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON: VOICES FROM THE BORDERLAND Hippocampus Press once again proves why they hold such an esteemed position within the world of weird fiction. As I continue through their Library of Criticism I am continuously impressed with the rigorous standards of scholarship, craft and dedication evident within each volume.
I recently had a conversation with a friend where we discussed the idea that terror is the emotion one feels preceding an event and horror is the emotion one feels witnessing the effects of that event. Gafford employs both to devastating effect within Whitechapel, building a foreboding sense of malaise and then, most importantly, delivering when called upon.
Read Dead Corpse for the wonderful fiction and let its deeper truths settle into your soul.
I’m sure you can call to mind dozens of times within horror fiction the protagonist reacting “with dawning realization”. Padgett has managed to capture that feeling and evoke it in such a way that you the reader, not one of the characters within a fictional story, experiences this dawning realization.
Baader is elegant in evoking the strange in simple, unadorned lines. It’s this simplicity that disarms. His characters are instantly believable with just enough detail provided for the reader to identify with yet not so overloaded it hampers the imagination. He trusts his reader’s intelligence instead of pandering to them.
“To evoke a demon is a sordid, dangerous affair. Call loudly over the dense cathode with offers of bleating lambs, and sometimes a fiend scratches back against your tar-paper reality.”
“almost insentient, almost divine” is a collection that will be treasured by readers for decades to come, and doubtlessly recommended to those looking for an introduction as to what makes this genre special.
Our beloved cosmic horror is at work, more accurately perhaps in its guise as existential horror. I wish you could see my hand tremble with excitement as I write these words, for THE LONEY by Andrew Michael Hurley is a truly captivating novel.
The very last thing I expected within a book of African Horror was a scene that transported me immediately to the mid-eighties, reading SALEM’S LOT in my Aunt’s summer house, the hackles on the back of my neck rising, yet there it was.
While I love Lovecraftian Mythos fiction, I see a particular brilliance in the ability to synthesize the ideas and prose into a new thing. Mythos without mythos, the very texture of the prose becoming as much a part of the story as the characters and setting.