Marvin Kaye: Weird Tales

Imaginative writing from the mid 19th to late 20th centuryAs would be xpected many writers closely associated with Weird Tales are represented here HP Lovecraft who sold 48 stories to the magazine gives us a creepy tale of the lost byways of Greenwich Village in He Robert E Howard who placed 55 of his pieces in the magazine is shown to good Georgia and the Tycoon effect with one of his Solomon Kane stories Skulls in the Stars Seabury uinn the author who appeared in Weird Tales than any other with a whopping 160 appearances is here represented by one of his non Jules de Grandin adventures Masked Ball a beautifully written ghost story that takes place during Mardi Gras August Derleth of course makes an appearance with his tale of a young girl s spirit playmate Mr George Robert Bloch provides a very amusing and grisly updating of The Sorcerer s Apprentice Clark Ashton Smith offers up another of his gorgeously written tales of the Hyperborean Age in The Weird of Avoosl Wuthouan love that name Richard Matheson tells the story of an aged widower who can t stop dreaming of Wet Straw and sci fi legend Theodore Sturgeon gives us an absolute work of genius with his novella The Perfect HostButven fun than reading wonderful tales by old friends is discovering great authors one had never heard of before or realizing that certain celebrities could actually spin a good horror tale Who knew for Churchills Trial example that Harry Houdini could tell a story as good as The Hoax of the Spirit Lover or that 1940s horror producer Val Lewton could write a story as suspenseful and as meaningful as The Bagheeta As for those new acuaintances that this reader made here take Allison V Harding whose 1947 story The Damp Man with its memorably dank and bloated villain will most certainly make any reader hot to track down the tale s two seuels Rex Dolphin s Off the Map tells the story of a lost English village far far nastier than the Brigadoon it may bring to mind while W J Stamper s Ti Michel is a story of Haitian vengeance that builds to uite a hideous conclusion No voodoo is involved here but voodoo certainly does play a part in William Tenn s Mistress Sary a story about an 8 year old albino girl who is all too proficient in such dark arts Other authors who I was happy toncounter for the first time here include Manly Banister who provides a lovely story of a writer who is in love with a female werewolf Eena Hugh B Cave who gives us a chilling account of a writer who is in love with a female vampire in The Brotherhood of Blood Jack Snow with his pulpy but highly A Conspiracy of Ravens (Lady Trent Mysteries enjoyable tale of a parasitic plant discovered in the African jungle Seed Dorothy uick with her sinister fantasy that revolves around a cute little puppy More Than Shadow and F Marion Crawford whose Gothic tale The Dead Smile will surely compel me to seek out by this writer An author who I firstncountered in that Lakeside Redemption earlier Weird Tales volume C Hall Thompson is now a very solid two for two with me Thearlier anthology had given us Thompson s brilliant Lovecraft pastiche The Will of Claude Ashur while this latter one presents us with the author s The Pale Criminal a grisly neo Gothic that really does make for a powerful read Truth to tell with all of the writers listed above to read their representative story in this anthology is to become an instant fanThe book is not all beer and skittles however and there are a very few clinkers to be found Ray Bradbury s Interim from 1947 did not leave much of an impact on me and Tanith Lee s The Sombrus Tower dark and mysterious as it is was for this reader unsatisfying Still two clinkers out of 45 is not a bad ratio and I have not In Pursuit of a Princess even mentioned the marvelous works provided by William Hope Hodgson HG Wells Fredric Brown Fritz Leiber Jr Gaston Leroux Arthur Machen and many others Indeed for all lovers of fantasy and horror Marvin Kaye s Weird Tales anthology should prove a treasure trove of wonders This may be the best Weird Tales collection I ve read yet It contains a great selection of the best authors of thera and some of the best stories I ve read yet The only other collection I ve loved uite this much was Weird Tales 32 Unearthed Terrors I m only being Second Time Loving extra hard on my story ratings because Ixpect so much of Weird Tales Anthologies in general can be of spotty uality and the fact that I njoyed reading all but 2 stories in this giant tome really speaks for the greatness of this book The complete list of stories contained in this volume and my thoughts and ratings on them is as followsINTERIM by Ray Bradbury 1010 Never has a 2 page story been so ffectively creepyTHE HOUSE OF ECSTASY by Ralph Milne Farley 810 Interesting conceptTHE STOLEN BODY by HG Wells 610 Not a bad story by any means but at this point in my short story reading it doesn t seem too originalTHE SCRAWNY ONE by Anthony Boucher 710 Good nough story but I wanted from the author of one of my fav short stories Th. Tales by Otis Adelbert KlineThe Weird of Avoosl Wuthouan by Clark Ashton SmithThe House of Ecstasy by Ralph Milne FarleyThe Woman with the Velvet Collar by Gaston LerouxThe Judge's House by Bram StokerMistress Sary by William TennGhost Hunt by HR WakefieldHe by authorHP LovecraftThe Sorcerer's Apprentice by Robert BlochThe Dead Smile by F Marion CrawfordThe Brotherhood of Blood by Hugh B CaveMen Who walk Upon the Air by Frank Belknap LongThe Stolen Body by HG WellsThe Scrawny One by Anthony BoucherInterim by Ray BradburyEena by Manly BanisterThe Look by Maurice LevelMethought I Heard A Voice by L Sprague de Camp and Fletcher PrattOff the Map by Rex DolphinThe Last Train by Fredric BrownTi Michel by WJ StamperIn the X Ray by Fritz LeiberSpeak by Henry SlesarThe Pale Criminal by C Hall ThompsonThe Sombrus Tower by Tanith LeeMr

This is a bit of an odd one by virtue of it s source material Weird Tales first started publication in the arly 1920s predating our modern perceptions of genre fiction As a result this anthology which draws from the original Weird Tales magazine run as well as it s subseuent revivals presents an clectic assortment of fantasy stories tales of supernatural horror and stories of grotesue although mundane murder and crime While one might initially think that this broad focus would be a weakness for an anthology it is actually among it s great strengths Without certainty beyond the broadest strokes as to what the next story will ntail I approached Family Men each one with less preconception than I normally possessWhile the anthology contains short fiction by many of the usual suspects Lovecraft Poe Stoker Howard Bradbury and Wells all make appearances there are a great many stories by authors of less notoriety as well as a few surprises there s a Dickens story towards thend and it doesn t seem as out of place as you might think Most are at the least Creative Participation enjoyable diversions some are uite good If I were to level a complaint it would be wholly unfairly that the limitations of the magazine form have resulted in many stories that could have used a bit time to steep for maximum horrificffect There are Sabina Spielrein exceptions Theodore Sturgeon s wonderfully bizarre The Perfect Host being chief among them in my mindAll in all annjoyable read I picked this up at a library book sale over the summer and believe I got far value than the pittance I paid for it Whew Two months and 570 pages laterI went into this because of my love for Lovecraft the most prolific Weird Tales contributor of them all and what I found was an interesting mishmash of good and bad stories The Cognitive Radio Networks editor chose stories not based on whether they were good but rather whether they had an interesting backstorywhich sometimes backfires This was NOT a best of collection Extra Book 49 Not part of the EBN ChallengeI had a tough time with this book I checked it out for the short story by Edgar Allen Poe but the stories just didn t hold me Some of them were good but others were just really hard to get into Gives a nice background on the magazine a great introduction for those getting started Excellent stories byarly writers keep in mind this was published in the 80s so while it covers the majority of the history its missing the recent stuff While I seldom pick up books in this genre I ve read Personnel Management in Government enough Lovecraft and Seabury uinn and Robert E Howard to have familiarity with it I found this a thoroughlynjoyable read of course for such a wide variety of shorts some appeal than the others but if interested in the general theme of supernatural shorts this is an Out of This World excellent sampling of some infreuently collected works from generally the first half of the 20th century with a smattering of later works As with any anthology this particular collection of Weird Tales stories is a mixed bag depending on the tastes of the reader There reside between these two cardboard covers tales that are brilliant others that are dreadful and the rest just OK This particular collection gets bumped up an additional star from 3 to 4 because of the introductions toach story and the useful lists and other historical apparatus added by anthologist Kaye Excellent pulp reprint Great selection of stories from an amazing pulp magazine Recommended Absolutely outstanding anthology of Weird Tales reprints A door stop at nearly 600 pages Kaye has done his homework and picked xcellent mostly but obscure stories many by authors I didn t really know Even when he picks from the well known he picks the lesser anthologized stories In addition while the bulk of the stories are from the classic ra Kaye doesn t confine himself The Child of the Soul and Other Stories exclusively to thisra but picks some gems from later incarnations of the magazineIncludes short introductions to authors and stories two appendices and a further reading suggestion Marvin Kaye s Weird Tales The Magazine That Never Dies anthology from 1988 takes a slightly different tack than its Childrens Phantasies earlier sister volume Weird Tales 32 Unearthed Terrors Whereas theditors of that arlier collection chose to select one story from ach year of the magazine s celebrated 32 year run 1923 54 Kaye has decided here to not just limit himself to the periodical s classic The Soviet Union era of 279 issues but to also include tales fromach of the four latter day incarnations of The Uniue Magazine from 1973 87 The result is 45 pieces of generally superb speculative fantasy and horror including six Weird Tales Reprints by such luminaries as Dickens Poe Flaubert and Stoker as well as Otis Adelbert Kline s Why Weird Tales an article that clearly delineated the magazine s goals and intentions in its first anniversary issue the one dated MayJuneJuly 1924 Simply put Kaye s almost 600 page anthology is a collection of some of the very finest. Since its first issue in March 1923 Weird Tales The Uniue Magazine has provided countless readers with the most innovative and offbeat fantasy suspense and horror stories Almost Gods and Heroes every important writer of fantastic fiction in the first half of this century including HP Lovecraft Robert E Howard Ray Bradbury Robert Bloch Fritz Lieber and countless other notables have had their works showcased in its pagesNow in this special volume compiled by popular anthologist Marvin Kaye some of the most memorable horrific bizarre talesver published are assembled all of which have appeared in various incarnations of Weird Tales over the yearsSkulls in the Stars by Robert E HowardThe Terror of the Water Tank by William Hope HodgsonThe Lost Club by Arthur MachenThe Hoax of the Spirit Lover by Harry HoudiniMasked Ball by Seabury uinnWhy Weird.

Ey BiteTHE SORCERER S APPRENTICE by Lucian 510 Meh I understand it being included to help the reader appreciate Bloch s story later in the collectionSKULLS IN THE STARS by Robert E Howard 810 Great uncommonly short Solomon Kane storyEENA by Manly Banister 910 Touching story about a subject I usually don t care much about werewolvesTHE LOOK by Maurice Level 710 Pretty good story about guiltMETHOUGHT I HEARD A VOICE by L Sprague Camp 810 Interesting well written story on mesmerismOFF THE MAP by Rex Dolphin 810 I m a sucker for any cursed place storyTHE LAST TRAIN by Fredric Brown 610 Kind of Twilight Zone yTI MICHEL by WJ Stamper 910 I love a good revenge storyIN THE X RAY by Fritz Leiber 910 Maybe conventional in plot but Science, Technology and Culture excellently written and genuinely chillingSPEAK by Henry Slesar 710 Not bad but I don t usually go for this sort of thingTHE PALE CRIMINAL by C Hall Thompson 810 Good psychological horrorTHE SOMBRUS TOWER by Tanith Lee 810 Lee is a great writer and I wanted out of this story I do understand that was kind of the point thoughMR GEORGE by August Derleth 1010 Well written story that is appropriately humorous a bit touching and satisfyingTHE TERROR OF THE WATER TANK by William Hope Hodgson 610 My first story by this author wasn t super impressive to meTHE LEGEND OF ST JULIAN THE HOSPITALLER by Gustave Flaubert 210 I could only read 2 pages of this before being bored by religious fervor I don t understand why this story was included because it really doesn t hit the Weird Tales tone at allTHE HOAX OF THE SPIRIT LOVER by Harry Houdini 810 Injoyed the direct jaded voice in this storySEED by Jack Snow 910 One of my favorites here I m into any weird science or jungle cult stuffMASKED BALL by Seabury uinn 810 uinn is one of my least favorite Weird Tales writers something about his faintly aristocratic tone pisses me off This is the only story of his I ve read so far that I ve actually No Beast So Fierce enjoyed Ghost dance in New Orleans yes pleaseTHE WOMAN WITH THE VELVET COLLAR by Gaston Leroux 810 Good creepy one that doesn tnd the way you probably think it willMISTRESS SARY by William Tenn 910 Something about stories with creepy children is very appealing to me Maybe because I think they re a bit vil naturally THE JUDGE S HOUSE by Bram Stoker 710 Not a bad story but I couldn t help feeling it s too similar to previously read stories lsewhereTHE BAGHEETA by Val Lewton 910 A sad Last Chance Bride effective storyGHOST HUNT by HR Wakefield 610 Not bad but same feeling to me as SPEAKFUNERAL IN THE FOG by Edward D Hoch 810 Well written mystery I alwaysnjoy Hoch s storiesTHE DAMP MAN by Allison V Harding 610 A kind of pulpy feeling mystery that didn t really do it for meTHE LOST CLUB by Arthur Machen 510 Reminded me too much of Stevenson s Suicide Club although I guess this must have been the original ideaWET STRAW by Richard Matheson 1010 One of my favorite shorts from one of my favorite authorsMYSTERIES OF THE FACELESS KING by Darrell Schweitzer 1010 An Whos Cheatin Who? (Thoroughbred Legacy excellent fantasy story that has made me determined to hunt down of the author s workMORE THAN SHADOW by Dorothy uick 1010 I may be a bit biased rating this one seeing as I think poodles arevil anywayTHE DEAD SMILE by F Marion Crawford 1010 I d already decided to read Crawford but if I hadn t this story would have made me Genuinely unsettlingTHE SORCERER S APPRENTICE by Robert Bloch 910 I loved this cruel story I must be a bit cruel insideCHICKEN SOUP by Katherine MacLean 710 I didn t wholly get this story but I think that was maybe the pointTHE HAUNTED BURGLAR by WC Morrow 810 This story is so over the top I couldn t help liking it NEVER BET THE DEVIL YOUR HEAD by EA Poe 410 This is the only other story in the volume I skipped over after reading the first few pages I didn t care for the style it was written in Poe is hit or miss for meHE by HP Lovecraft 810 Good story by one of my all time favorite authors It isn t one of his best but I imagine it was chosen because it s short this volume is huge alreadyTHE BROTHERHOOD OF BLOOD by Hugh B Cave 910 Vampirism can be a tired subject to me In this story it s of a family curse than anything Lawman Lover (Outlaws, else which appeals to meTHE WEIRD OF AVOOSL WUTHOUAN by Clark Ashton Smith 910 Good luck trying to pronounce that title Smith is one of the best writers I ve read in Weird Tales though His writing always feels like a treat for meMEN WHO WALK UPON THE AIR by Frank Belknap Long 710 Pretty good I like the repetition used hereA CHILD S DREAM OF A STAR by Charles Dickens 810 I m not really a fan of Dickens in general or children but I really liked this one and I understand why it was chosenTHE PERFECT HOST by Theodore Sturgeon 910 Really fascinating story of possession Sturgeon always impresses meSo there ya go Myxtremely long complete list of contents with a few thoughts If you re still reading this far you should just uit reading reviews and go find this book. Eorge by August DerlethThe Legend of St Julian the Hospitaller by Gustave FlaubertSeed by Jack SnowThe Bagheeta by Val LewtonFuneral in the Fog by Edward D HochThe Damp Man by Allison V HardingWet Straw by Richard MathesonMysteries of the Faceless King by Darrell SchweitzerMore Than Shadow by Dorothy uickChicken Soup by Katherine MacLean and Mary KornbluthThe Haunted Burglar by WC MorrowNever Bet the Devil Your Head by Edgar Allan PoeA Child's Dream of a Star by Charles DickensThe Perfect Host by Theodore SturgeonThe Sorcerer's Apprentice by Lucian translated by Sir Thomas MoreDust jacket illustration by Richard Kriegler based on Howard's Skulls in the Stars Weird Tales has always been the most popular and sought after of all pulp magazines A mix of xotic fantasy horror science fiction suspense and the just plain indescribabl.

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He is the editor of Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine and both editor and co publisher of America’s oldest supernatural periodical Weird Tales magazineA native of Philadelphia PA he is a graduate of Penn State with an M A in theatre and English literature; he recently headed the tutoring staff of the Manhattan campus of Mercy College; is Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing at New York University has taught mystery writing in England for the Smithsonian Institute has served as a judge for the Edgar International Thriller Writers Nero and World Fantasy Awards and is Artistic Director for The Open Book New York’s oldest readers theatre company He is listed in both Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Entertainment