A Season in Carcosa

Edited by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. . Miskatonic River (www.miskatonicriverpress.com), $19.99 trade paper (292p) ISBN 978-1-937408-00-8
Readers unfamiliar with Robert W. Chambers's weird fiction won't get the help they would need to really enjoy this uneven anthology. In his introduction, instead of limning in detail Chambers's "small body of stories, some even term it a mythos, linked by a king in pallid, tattered robes," Pulver assumes fluency with the original stories as well as with the current horror writing community. Unsurprisingly, seasoned pros John Langan and Laird Barron weigh in with solidly creepy entries, but there are also strong efforts from lesser known talents. Don Webb's clever "Movie Night at Phil's" uses the conceit that Roger Corman's AIP made an eighth Poe movie, The King in Yellow, in 1966. After reading about the movie in 666 Horror Films to Scare You to Death, a film buff tracks down a copy on eBay, with horrific consequences. Gary McMahon offers a lyrical look at the fictional city of Carcosa in "it sees me when I'm not looking," describing it as "the half-forgotten taste of a bitter drink I once tried," and Cody Goodfellow's "Wishing Well," centered on a bizarre 1970s TV kids' show, also offers some disturbing images. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 02/18/2013
Release date: 09/01/2012
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