Edited by: Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
Published by: Miskatonic River Press
Page Count: 292
ISBN 10: 1937408000
ISBN 13: 978-1937408008
Where to buy: Miskatonic River Press Store, Amazon, and other fine book retailers.
In haunted and splintered minds… Minds shackled to lonely places… In the unbound shadows infesting hearts of beautiful woman with frantic sensations… In an old house where biblical thrived… In threadbare truths, disturbed by despair, cobwebbed with illusions…
In far cold Carcosa…
In A Season In Carcosa readers will find the strange and mysterious places of heart and mind that spring from madness, and those minds and the places touched by it are the realms that are mined. Chambers’ legacy of the worms and soft decay that spring from reading the King In Yellow play stir both new and established talents in the world of weird fiction and horror to contribute all new tales that pay homage to these eerie nightmares. In Carcosa twilight comes and minds lost in the mirrors of lust and fear, are awash in legacies of shadows, not mercy.
Hello readers and fellow devotees of the weird and terrorific,
If you follow She Never Slept, you know that we love us some Joe Pulver. When he approached me and asked that we review A Season In Carcosa, his new King In Yellow anthology, not once but twice, how could I say ‘no’? I mean, this is Joe Pulver we’re talkin’ about, the undisputed Regent In Yellow, Carcosa’s ambassador to our world.
Joe had already sent one copy to our reviewer, Alanna Quinn, and asked that I review the other. Again, I was honored and excited to review one of Mr. Pulver’s books. I already know that his stories have an almost magickal effect on me as a reader, and I was more than a little interested to see what other stories he chose to compile into this anthology and what kind of job he did as an editor.
First up is Alanna’s take on this book, and my review will be posted shortly.
When Joe Pulver, Sr. sent me a copy of A Season In Carcosa to read, I had already spent a long interval away from the pungent, hallucinogenic landscapes that he and his fellow scribes have the unnatural knack of rendering into vivid print, and I could only imagine the actual “seasons” in a place like Carcosa as being along the lines of Dread, Despair, Deterioration and Dissipation. Those “seasons” describe the themes the authors bring to this book, and put forth a pleasant disorientation that I look for in strange tales and bizarre fiction.
Authors whose works I am already familiar are also folk I have met through the HP Lovecraft Film Festival: “D T” by Laird Barron, “Wishing Well” by Cody Goodfellow and “Not Enough Hope” by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. demonstrate visceral imagery of their characters’ descent into whatever hell they are going to. The inclusion of “The Theatre And Its Double” by another attendee Edward Morris extends the rolls of the very exclusive Portland- area Yellow Chamber membership. Thanks to both Mr. Morris and Mr. Pulver for including Edith Piaf and Patti Smith (albeit indirectly) into their stories. One of these days, I could see Daniel Mills being next, his “MS Found In A Chicago Hotel Room” offers an interesting angle on the “origins” of H.P. Lovecraft’s writing career.
I do not envy an editor’s job of picking submissions for a collection, and especially ones that would best represent the type of genre for which Chambers is best known. Out of the authors that are not known to me until now, the following made an impression on me the first read through:
“The Beat Hotel” by Allyson Bird
“Slick Black Bones and Soft Black Stars” by Gemma Files
“The Hymn of the Hyades” by Richard Gavin
“Whose Hearts Are Pure Gold” by Kristin Prevallet
“King Wolf” by Anna Tambour
From the start, these stories immersed me; I was watching children suffer at the hands of fate, disasters strike, and what felt like a perverse deus ex machina in action whenever there is a hint of yellow. I had a great time, made better that there were no tidy endings to ruin the experience for me.
The second read-through has me more appreciative of the other works, “April Dawn” by Richard A. Lupoff was particularly interesting due to the imagery of the Irish Catholic small town to the larger San Francisco theater sphere ( the dish called Farewell My Concubine was a great touch). I like that I get further insights with each new perusal.
All of these stories brought atmosphere to the desolation that the title implies, and Joe Pulver’s editorial debut made for a fine read. Being that this is an independent press release, I hold a different set of standards in comparison to other releases; I give leeway to structure but expect the subject matter to have bite to them. The gallery of merry madness that Mr. Pulver assembled shows great promise, and future snapshots from Dim Carcosa will be welcomed.
Alanna Quinn., Minion (Reviewer/Columnist)