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.
A short but pertinent chapter today. Snuff is out on his rounds and meets the Dour Detective and his companion near the Good Doctor’s place. They recognize him from their meeting in London, and make some sweeping generalizations about Snuff based on his appearance. Snuff does his ‘good dog’ shtick then leads them astray when they ask him to lead them to his home. Instead he takes them to the occultists’ place and leaves them there.
While travelling between the occultists’ and the Count’s residences Snuff notes something interesting happening in his mental map, something that gets more interesting when he adds in a trip back to where the Good Doctor works. We’re not told what exactly is interesting but we can surmise it’s something to do with Snuff’s ‘magic tracking’ system and the finding of the center where the events of Halloween will take place.
Snuff is showing himself to be a doughty companion, and possibly even a player in the game in his own right? I’ve read this book before of course, but following it on a day by day experience like this gives me more time to mull over the questions of each day as they come up before proceeding. It’s less of a headlong rush this time through, and more of a growing respect for how Zelazny has put this extravaganza together so seamlessly and entertainingly.
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.