GUEST BOOK REVIEW by William Meikle: 31 Days of A Night in the Lonesome October: Day 30

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
Pages: 280


October 30th

One last deep breath before the big night.

Snuff explains to us some of how the ritual works, about the gathering of the players, the building of a bonfire, and the performance of strange magics. It is revealed that Jill weilds the Opener’s magic wand while Jack weilds the Closer, and that bad things happen to the losers.

Snuff goes in search of Larry Talbot to tell him about the true identiy of the Great Detective, and to warn him that the Vicar has fashioned a silver bullet. He finds Talbot in a recently designed Zen garden, deep in meditation, so deep that that Snuff cannot rouse him.

Snuff howls in frustration.

The players all know their roles, or think they do, Their ‘materials’ are prepared, and many are looking warily at Jack and his blade. But it’s too late now for machinations. Halloween is upon us. It’s time we were shown the way.


Boo-graphy:
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.

Website

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.

William’s Halloween Giveaway

GUEST BOOK REVIEW by William Meikle: 31 Days of A Night in the Lonesome October: Day 29

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
Pages: 280


October 29th

Jack tries to convince Jill to switch sides in the game, but she is determined to play it out the way she started, despite now having conflicting emotions about it all. They have tea anyway, all cozy and domestic, which unnerves Snuff.

Snuff takes a walk and makes a trip to the burned out ruin of the Good Doctor’s place to check if there is any trace of the man. He finds no burned bodies but, in the barn, finds the smell of the Big Man, and also discovers a sleeping bat, Cheeter, the Count’s familiar. It is intimated that the Count may not be as dead as first thought, and that they are still in the game. The bat and Snuff share information, but are disturbed by the arrival of the mad Vicar with a crossbow.

Snuff is in serious trouble, and despite the fluttering help of the bat it seems like the Vicar has him dead in his sights… until ‘Linda Enderby’ arrives, Snuff does his ‘I’m just a big daft dog’ act, and the Vicar is persuaded to leave.

‘Linda Enderby’ isn’t so easily fooled though. Revealing ‘herself’ as the Great Detective, Holmes makes it known he knows approximately what Snuff is, knows about the game, and is determined to try to save the Vicar’s niece from being sacrificed on the big night.

Snuff tries to tell him about Larry Talbot’s similar plan, but Holmes doesn’t trust the beast in Talbot, believing it will be too strong to allow Talbot to be rational on the night. Holmes asks Snuff to show him where the ritual will take place.

Snuff agrees.

So another alliance has been made. Holmes ‘feels’ like he should be a closer but there’s a streak of rebellion in the character that might yet show through. The pieces have almost finished being moved about now, and we’re approaching the endgame fast, with still no clue as to who might win, and still with more than a few wild cards determined to disrupt things.

Hang on to your hats, it’s almost showtime.


Boo-graphy:
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.

Website

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.

William’s Halloween Giveaway

GUEST BOOK REVIEW by William Meikle: 31 Days of A Night in the Lonesome October: Day 28

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
Pages: 280


October 28th

Snuff’s calculations are done. The central point is the same hill and tumbled old stones where he and Graymalk were transported to the Dreamworld. Not exactly a surprise, but it appears Snuff is the first of the calculators to figure it out.

He has a long talk with Bobo which serves as some more exposition about the nature of the game, discovering that Bobo has been paying more attention than most of the actual familiars. The game is ancient, and is indeed a battle to open, or close, the way for the coming of the Old Gods of Chaos. We also hear of a legend, of a wild man and his dog who are always there at the end.

At the end of the day Jack and Snuff reminisce about previous games they have played.

Just how old are Jack and Snuff? And how many games have they played. There was a mention sneaked in of Cain and Abel. Is that Jack’s curse? Is he the original murderer, cursed forever to weild a blade? Or have I just watched too many episodes of Supernatural? There was another allusion to a man on a hill and a last supper. is there a Judas lurking somewhere?

Whatever the case, this chapter was a short one, just to remind us of players and stakes and bring us back to the point of it all before the climax. But Snuff has made a pledge to stay friends with Graymalk whatever happens, and I suspect nothing will ever break his bond with Jack.

Three days to go, and all to play for.


Boo-graphy:
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.

Website

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.

William’s Halloween Giveaway

GUEST BOOK REVIEW by William Meikle: 31 Days of A Night in the Lonesome October: Day 27

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
Pages: 280


October 27th

Snuff wakes from a much needed long rest to find Graymalk at the door. She informs him there’s been a fire in the night; the Good Doctor’s house, and laboratory, have gone up in flames.

They go to investigate. There’s too much smoke and burned smells for Snuff to sniff out any information, but they come across Bobo, the rat, who once cornered provides them with the details. The big lumbering man, the Doctor’s ‘experiment’ trashed the place in a rage, set off the fire, and fled. Bobo doesn’t know if the Doctor and his assistant have survived.

And Bobo has a confession. He isn’t really a familiar, and the Doctor is just a Doctor, albeit one with strange experimental technique. None of them were ever players in the game; Bobo just pretended to be so that he would feel part of something, get some respect.

This new info means that Snuff’s map isn’t off because of a secret player…it’s off because he was including one player too many. He needs time to recalibrate, but time is in short supply now that the day is getting so close.

He has made another friend though; Bobo is invited along back to Jack’s house with him and Graymalk.

So the Doctor is, supposedly, out of the game. But the Big Man is still out there somewhere, a wild card lumbering about. Given his propensity for unintended mayhem I’m sure he’ll be making an appearance again, possibly on the big night itself.

There was some more masterful interplay between the familiars today, with Snuff and Graymalk showing both their animal natures and their familiar natures, and Bobo being afraid of both. I’m going to miss these characters when the story’s done, and can only hope they all survive it.


Boo-graphy:
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.

Website

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.

William’s Halloween Giveaway

GUEST BOOK REVIEW by William Meikle: 31 Days of A Night in the Lonesome October: Day 26

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
Pages: 280


October 26th

A short, quiet chapter. Nobody’s out and about, all taking a last breath before the big event. Snuff does his rounds but finds nothing untoward and does normal doggie things for a bit, before realising he is being followed.

He tracks sneakily backwards and disturbs a big loping dog. The dog says it is new to the area, just looking for a place to lay its head and asks Snuff questions about the big event.

Snuff answers cautiously and when they part the big dog calls after Snuff by name, something Snuff never gave him. Is this a new player? Or a new familiar of an old player? Time’s getting short if we are to find out.

Another chapter that made me want to rush ahead and see what happens. Reading it like this has been a real pleasure, but I’m also missing the other real pleasure of devouring a wonderful book in one great gulp. That’ll be next year’s Halloween day for me I think.


Boo-graphy:
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.

Website

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.

William’s Halloween Giveaway