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
Another day begins with Snuff doing his rounds, firstly in the house. One of the ‘things’ is still mouthy and insulting. It offers Snuff a bribe – a redhead? A collie? but Snuff has heard it all before.
He heads outside to expand his round. On this occasion he comes across an old man with a scythe, with a nervous squirrel as companion. We also discover that the chaser who Snuff gave a nip the day before was the rotund companion of a dour detective. I think we can all guess who that must have been, but whether the dynamic duo are players in the game is as yet unclear.
The day ends with Jack performing a midnight ritual which initiates a strange magic and affects Snuff in ways he is unable to fully articulate. We wonder about Snuff. He has mentioned that he prefers being a watchdog to what he was before, in the place from where Jack summoned him. What could that have been? Was Snuff human in a previous incarnation? Or perhaps even some kind of demon? We can only hope for answers at this stage, and wonder who else might join in the game.
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.