Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Order [book in series=yearoffirstbook.book# (eg 2014.01), stand-alone or one-author collection=3333.pubyear, multi-author anthology=5555.pubyear, SFM/MM=5000, interview=1111]: 1934


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The Tongueless Horror and Other Stories: Seven tales from a Weird-Menace pro

The Tongueless Horror and Other Stories by Wyatt Blassingame

A little while back, I was very pleased to read my first collection in the genre known as “weird-menace” fiction, which genre mainly dealt, back in the 1930s and early ‘40s, with lurid, violent, supernatural stories that usually turned out to have rather mundane – and often far-fetched – explanations. That collection was Food for the Fungus Lady and Other Stories by Ralston Shields, a 2014 release from the publisher Ramble House. I enjoyed my first weird-menace exposure so well that I determined to seek out some similar fare from Ramble House’s immense catalog,


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The Shadow on the House: Strange days

The Shadow on the House by Mark Hansom

For the past 35 years or so, I have been so busy trying to experience all the 200 books described in Stephen Jones’ and Kim Newman’s two excellent overview volumes – Horror: 100 Best Books and Horror: Another 100 Best Books – that I was completely unaware, until recently, that there is yet another trusted resource that horror buffs in the know have been using for recommended reading; namely, the Wagner 39 List. It seems that back in 1983,


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Intrigue on the Upper Level: My kind of Hell, Chicago is…

Intrigue on the Upper Level by Thomas Temple Hoyne

Just recently, I had some words to say about Jack Williamson and Dr. Miles J. Breuer’s 1931 novel The Birth of a New Republic, in which a group of citizens (living on the Moon) rises up in rebellion against the despotic corporate forces oppressing them. Well, now I am here to tell you of another sci-fi book of the early ‘30s dealing with still another revolt against the powers that be.


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Before the Dawn: An entertaining if lesser Taine novel

Before the Dawn by John Taine

Following the release of John Taine’s four-part, serialized novel The Time Stream, which wrapped up in the March 1932 issue of Wonder Stories, fans of the Scottish-born author would have to wait a good 27 months for any more sci-fi product from him. But this is not to say that Taine was idle during that time, his “day job” as a mathematician and professor — under his given name Eric Temple Bell — keeping him more than busy,


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Odd John: Lo And Behold!

Odd John by Olaf Stapledon

Just recently, I had some words to say regarding Olaf Stapledon’s superlative novel entitled Sirius (1944), which featured as its protagonist a German shepherd/border collie mix who, thanks to his owner’s experiments in genetic engineering and hormonal supplements, winds up a canine with the mentality of a human genius. It was the first book that I had experienced by this British author, and I loved it so much that I immediately began reading an earlier Stapledon novel,


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Mary Poppins: Perhaps not what you were expecting

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

Having recently seen Saving Mr. Banks, a film that purports to examine the strained relationship between author P.L. Travers and film-maker Walt Disney when it came to adapting Mary Poppins for the big screen, it was only natural that I finally got around to my long overdue reading of the classic children’s story Mary Poppins (1934).

Having grown up with the Disney film, it’s quite shocking to realize how little one resembles the other.


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The Devil Rides Out: An excellent source novel

The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley

When I first saw the 1968 horror film “The Devil Rides Out” several years back at one of NYC’s numerous revival theatres, I thought it was one of the best Hammer films that I’d ever seen, and made a mental note to check out Dennis Wheatley‘s 1934 source novel one day. That resolve was further strengthened when I read a very laudatory article by Stephen Volk on the book in Kim Newman and Stephen Jones


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Burn, Witch, Burn! Creep, Shadow, Creep!: Merritt proves himself

Burn, Witch, Burn! / Creep, Shadow, Creep! by Abraham Merritt

Having conquered the field of fantasy (with such classics as The Moon Pool, The Ship of Ishtar and Dwellers in the Mirage) as well as the field of the bizarre yet hardboiled crime thriller (with his wonderful Seven Footprints to Satan), Abraham Merritt went on, in 1932, to prove that he could master the field of supernatural horror, as well. That he succeeded brilliantly should come as no surprise to readers of those earlier works.


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The Charnel God: A Zothique story on audio

The Charnel God by Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith’s most popular short stories take place in a land he called Zothique, the last continent on our dying earth. It rose out of the sea and its people have forgotten modern technologies, customs, and religions. Instead they worship strange gods and practice sorcery. Smith’s 16 complete ZOTHIQUE stories were published in Weird Tales from 1932 to 1953. They’ve since been reprinted in several collections and, because they’re in the public domain, posted with the Smith family’s permission at Eldritchdark,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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    Maybe in the next couple months I'll get the DVDs of the two "Dune" SyFy productions from 2000 and 2003.…

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