Saturday, February 25, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 6

The grandmaster of ghost stories, the wiseman of the weird, Algernon Blackwood straightens his bowtie and enters the ring. Bibliography

Ancient Sorceries by Algernon Blackwood
John Silence, Physician Extraordinary, 1908

An Englishman is drawn to a sleepy French village, where he becomes obsessed with a young maid and witnesses a Satanic cult of werecats. Which is possibly debunked by Dr. Silence with the much more plausible explanation of past life regression.

The Crown Derby Plate by Marjorie Bowen
The Last Bouquet: Some Twilight Tales, 1933

Turns out that ghost in the haunted house was a ghost.

Available in The Bishop of Hell and Other Stories from Amazon

Black Thirst by C.L. Moore
Weird Tales April 1934

Interplanetary outlaw Northwest Smith is recruited by a Venusian harem-mate seeking help against her inhuman captive. Like Shambleau it involves his will being sapped by an alien creature, and like Black God's Kiss the story was mostly walking through corridors and repetitive descriptions.

At the Mouth of Time by Joe R. Lansdale
Originally in Fantasy Tales v6 n11, Winter 1982

Sword and Sorcery this time, from being hired in a tavern to fighting a sorcerer, with some horny schtick from the hero.

Collected in in this 45th Anniversary Tribute, from Amazon

The Sixth Sense of Frau Bernhauer by John Kobler
Detective Fiction Weekly v104 n03, 8/15/36

"True" story about a blind landlady who finds the clue that jails a bluebeard tenant. More artistic license than usual to create a narrative, and not the most interesting case to begin with.

Lansdale cleans house, knocking Kobler, Moore, and Brown over the ropes, Blackwood barely holding on.

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