A Night in the Lonesome October —
All is not what it seems…
In the murky London gloom, a knife-wielding gentleman named Jack prowls the midnight streets with his faithful watchdog Snuff – gathering together the grisly ingredients they will need for an upcoming ancient and unearthly rite. For soon after the death of the moon, black magic will summon the Elder Gods back into the world. And all manner of Players, both human and undead, are preparing to participate.
Some have come to open the gates. Some have come to slam them shut.
And now the dread night approaches – so let the Game begin.
Author: Roger Zelazny
Illustrator: Gahan Wilson
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Gaslamp
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: September 1, 1994
The day begins with Snuff and Jack on a nighttime expedition for ‘materials’. Snuff has fetched Jack’s blade along so we guess the business is a bloody one, but the job isn’t a total success; they are chased and Snuff has to give a chaser a ‘nip’ before they get free and away.
Later, back at Jack’s place, Snuff does his rounds of the other known parties, seeking information. He finds a broomstick at Jill and Greymalk’s place. He is interrupted by something that rustles and chitters in the trees and identifies itself as a familiar of a new player, the Count. The bat tells Snuff that all the players on the field are now in the business of gathering ‘materials’ for what is to come.
The game is growing in size daily. As yet we don’t know what these ‘materials’ are or what they are for, but the conversation with the bat brings up two new, important concepts, that of Openers and Closers in reference to the players. We can guess that these might be opposing parties in the game but we still don’t have a clue what’s going on.
However, the plot is, as they say, thickening nicely.
William Meikle is a Scottish writer, now living in Canada, with more than thirty novels published in the genre press and over 300 short story credits in thirteen countries.
He has books available from a variety of publishers including Dark Regions Press, Crossroad Press and Severed Press, and his work has appeared in a number of professional anthologies and magazines.
He lives in Newfoundland with whales, bald eagles and icebergs for company.
When he’s not writing he drinks beer, plays guitar, and dreams of fortune and glory.
The Green & the Black —
A small group of industrial archaeologists head into the center of Newfoundland, investigating a rumor of a lost prospecting team of Irish miners in the late Nineteenth century.
They find the remains of a mining operation, and a journal and papers detailing the extent of the miners’ activities. But there is something else on the site, something older than the miners, as old as the rock itself.
Soon the archaeologists are coming under assault, from a strange infection that spreads like wildfire through mind and body, one that doctors seem powerless to define let alone control.
The survivors only have one option. They must return to the mine, and face what waits for them, down in the deep dark places, where the green meets the black.