cover image The Unknown: Weird Writings, 1900–1937

The Unknown: Weird Writings, 1900–1937

Algernon Blackwood. Handheld, $17.99 trade paper (250p) ISBN 978-1-912766-68-0

Editor Henry Bartholomew (Dangerous Dimensions: Mind-bending Tales of the Mathematical Weird), a professor of 19th- and early 20th-century supernatural fiction, deepens appreciation for the work of weird fiction titan Blackwood (1869–1951) with this thoughtful collection of 12 prose pieces. Bartholomew pairs true narratives with chilling fiction, all demonstrating Blackwood’s rare talent for evoking creepy atmosphere in the outdoors. Those not tipped off that “’Mid the Haunts of the Moose” is a true account of the writer’s expedition to “that vast wilderness that stretches unbroken to James Bay” might well mistake it for fiction, as Blackwood makes the terror of the unknown, triggered by noises of unseen large creatures moving about at night, palpable. On the fiction side, the standout is “The Wolves of God,” named for a “primordial and mysterious retributive power” that may have followed a man with a guilty conscience across the ocean to Scotland. Readers familiar only with Blackwood’s best-known novellas will be delighted by this representative sampling of the gifted author’s other works. (Mar.)