S. T. Joshi's Blog

January 2, 2017 — Weird Fiction Review 7 Now Available

The other day I received copies of Weird Fiction Review 7 (Fall 2016), just out from Centipede Press. I believe this is another superlative (and large!—360 pp.) issue, with fiction by Steve Rasnic Tem, John Shirley (in collaboraton with Don Webb), Jonathan Thomas, Nicole Cushing, and Mark Howard Jones; two articles on Robert E. Howard (by Charles A. Gramlich and Benjamin Garstad), along with articles by James Goho (on Caitlín R. Kiernan), John C. Tibbetts (on Jack Finney), J.-M. Rajala (on some lost works by Ambrose Bierce), Jason V Brock (a comparison of David Bowie and Franz Kafka), and others; and poetry by Ann K. Schwader, John Shirley, Wade German, K. A. Opperman, Ashley Dioses, Ian Futter, Christina Sng, and others (including reprints of poems by H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard); an interview with William Hjortsberg; and still other items. I see that Centipede Press is currently offering the issue at a substantially discounted price (http://www.centipedepress.com/anthologies/wfreview7.html). I have a few spares available and will be happy to make them available for $20 to interested customers.

I trust that Hippocampus Press is gearing up to publish some items that should have come out in 2016, including David E. Schultz’s landmark edition of Lovecraft’s Fungi from Yuggoth. I see that Dead Reckonings Nos. 19/20 (dated, I believe, Fall 2016) is announced as available, but I have not received any copies yet. I have as many as six reviews in it. I believe my edition of Dunsany’s The Ghost in the Corner and Other Stories should be out soon, along with my collection of essays, Varieties of the Weird Tale. And there are editions of Lovecraft’s letters (to Clark Ashton Smith; to C. L. Moore, Henry Kuttner, Fritz Leiber, and others; and the “family letters,” to his mother, aunts, etc.) that are close to done and should come out later in the year.

Not even counting the above, I see that I have 26 books forthcoming from various publishers. This includes 13 from Centipede Press:

I have 8 books coming out from Dark Renaissance Books (in the Classic Weird Fiction series):

Then there are other titles from random publishers:

I was thrilled to read Ramsey Campbell’s new novel, The Searching Dead (PS Publishing), apparently the first in a trilogy of Lovecraftian novels that he is writing. This novel’s Lovecraftian elements are somewhat subdued, but I suspect Ramsey is setting the stage for more overt references later. But the novel is splendidly atmospheric, with subtle and cumulative hints of weirdness throughout. Set in 1952, the novel also seems to be heavily autobiographical, as it appears to reflect Campbell’s own Catholic upbringing and his eventual renunciation of orthodox religious belief. The book seems to be a bit difficult to acquire in the US, so readers may have to order from the publisher: http://www.pspublishing.co.uk/the-searching-dead-hardcover-by-ramsey-campbell-4047-p.asp. Possibly copies are available with Mark Ziesing or Subterranean Press.

Another book I read recently is a more problematical item. This is Paul La Farge’s novel The Night Ocean (due out in March from Penguin Press) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-night-ocean-paul-la-farge/1124019928?ean=9781101981085. This is an historical novel about Lovecraft’s relations with R. H. Barlow, especially as the former visited the latter in Florida in the 1930s. But, aside from making all manner of silly errors regarding the work of Lovecraft and others, the author cannot help suggesting that Lovecraft and Barlow had some kind of homosexual relationship—even if the work that Barlow is supposed to have written, in which this relationship is told in graphic detail (under the title Erotonomicon), proves to be a hoax. And in spite of the fact that La Farge comes down hard on the malice and intolerance of the “social justice warriors” (his term) who have excoriated Lovecraft for his racism and anti-Semitism, La Farge’s book itself leaves the reader with the impression that Lovecraft is nothing more than the sum of his prejudices. No attempt is made to account for the universal and ever-growing popularity of Lovecraft’s work around the world. Nevertheless, the novel is compelling, and readers should make up their own minds about the kind of portrait of Lovecraft it presents.

Entries from 2016…