The Age of Decayed Futurity: The Best of Mark Samuels

Mark Samuels. Hippocampus, $20 trade paper (268p) ISBN 978-1-61498-303-3
British author Samuels’s best proves very good indeed as shown by the 17 horror stories in his stellar seventh collection (after 2017’s The Prozess Manifestations). Lovecraftians will be gratified by “A Gentleman from Mexico,” in which a publisher claims that Lovecraft’s real-life literary executor, Robert Barlow, held on to a previously unknown notebook containing entries “that appeared to contradict the assertion that Lovecraft’s mythos was solely a fictional construct.” The Mexican publisher also tries to convince a visiting American editor of horror anthologies that the notebook connects to efforts to revive worship of Aztec gods. In “Ghorla,” a mix of light parody and genuine terror, an obsessive bibliophile publishes the “limited-circulation periodical Proceedings of the Dead Authors Society,” and limits his “praise for those sufficiently obscure to have escaped critical attention almost altogether.” Samuels excels at injecting unease into prosaic situations, as when a tramp encountered on a city street tells the narrator of “Vrolyck,” “It is the time of the black radiance from the stars.” Fans of literate, subtle horror will clamor for more. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 09/29/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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