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
After checking on the ‘things’, and rebuffing the one in the basement which now looks like a very alluring Afghan hound, Snuff makes a morning attempt to move the body but is too exhausted. Besides, bits of the body have been eaten during the night, and other bits are dropping off as he moves it. He hides it away and heads home for more rest.
He finds Jack in conversation with Larry Talbot. They have both been questioned by the police that morning, but Jack appears to be more interested in finding out what Mr. Talbot’s ‘game’ is, as he doesn’t have a familiar and doesn’t appear to be gathering materials or preparing any rituals. Talbot pleads innocence, saying only that he knows what he is doing, but Jack is not so sure.
A later conversation with Greymalk informs Snuff that all of the players have been interviewed by the police, with the angry Vicar present as ‘witness’. Jill has escaped being probed by doing her ‘away with the fairies’ routine, the mad monk’s command of English suddenly deserted him, and the Good Doctor pulled out his ‘I am above all this common nonsense’ shtick, all of which has left the authorities little further forward. They are, however, determined to find the lost policeman, so Snuff has to go back to trying to drag the body away. It’s in boggy ground now, and proving to be terribly hard going.
An end of the day chat with Graymalk sees her and Snuff reinforcing their friendship ‘despite what is to come’. Are Jack and Jill on different sides? And which is the closer, which the opener? We still have more questions than answers, and this small patch of English countryside is getting very busy. Rather than Herculean, Snuff’s attempts to hide the body appear almost Sisyphean. Is his struggle going to prove futile in the end after all?
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.