The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron

Edited by Ross E. Lockhart and Justin Steele. Word Horde (Ingram, dist.), $29 (342p) ISBN 978-1-939905-02-4
Lockhart and Steele collect 17 original stories from some of the shining stars of modern horror, constructing a worm-riddled literary playground from elements of the fiction of horror maestro Laird Barron. The results come across with a coherent feeling of dread, without feeling derivative of the source. The Broken Ouroboros comes up in an academic study of a rural cult in Molly Tanzer’s “Good Lord, Show Me the Way.” The worms crawl in as tiny silkworms in J.T. Glover and Jesse Bullington’s “Pale Apostle.” Old Leech appears in the context of a hippie revival retreat in T.E. Grau’s “Love Songs from the Hydrogen Jukebox.” In Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.’s “The Last Crossroads on a Calendar of Yesterdays,” The pages of the Black Guide become material for a golem built by a Jewish man driven insane from a childhood witnessing Nazi magic. A doppelganger of Barron himself features in a wonderfully creepy introduction by Steele. Hopefully Barron will enjoy this tribute; his fans certainly will. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/19/2014
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