Showing posts from September, 2022

Fat Face

Michael Shea, Fat Face (Axolotl Press: 1987). The story is a fun one to unpack, and this murmur points to a thematic layer that is particularly striking.    Like Dyer's discovery at the Mountains of Madness, this too is a story of times changing—a story of the degeneration of a culture that has come to merely mimic the accomplishments of the past in a cheap and unskillful way. Look at what the Parnassus has become! As the Hollywood office buildings flaunt gaudy pseudo-Mesopotamian architectural excrescences that are even now past their so-called swanky age, another power shift looms. The streets are being abandoned, and Patti clings to a community that no longer exists. The time of Shoggoths, who can't even be bothered to form their bodies into passable human form, is upon us.     Does Arnold, the newspaper vendor, offer hope?

The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis

 Clark Ashton Smith, "The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis" in Weird Tales , May 1932 Read the restored version here for free If you are wanting to jump into some Clark Ashton Smith short fiction for the first time, you won't go wrong starting here. Smith delivers a tale reminiscent of Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" without the extra 30,000 words, and leaves the reader drawing a more horrifying conclusion than one draws from Lovecraft's classic. As is typical of Smith, the prose here is a delight, and the story manages to spark the imagination and draw the reader into a doomed exploration of ancient ruins on the Mars landscape. With some great horror that will remind many of the film Alien , this one might actually manage to scare you!