Weirdbook, Vol. 2, #3, Whole Number 33
Edited by Doug Draa
Cover Artist: Elena Schweitzer
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 30 January 2017
Links: Weirdbook Magazine / How to Order / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Weirdbook is back after a long hiatus, under new editorship. Here's my review for the third issue in the new series, #33.
The fiction begins with "The River Flows to Nowhere" by John R. Fultz. -+- Our narrator, known only as "D" must head into the place called "the city" in search of a girl named Dorothy. It's a ruined hellish place that he has a bad history with. In the city are The Man Who Speaks With Shadows, The Children Without Mouths, and the Women Who Dance With Fire and an old adversary, The Man in the White Limousine. Things do not go well for D. An imaginative, hellish, story.
"The Amnesiac's Lament" by Scott R. Jones -+- This is a record left by a personality still left alive on Earth when the Old Ones returned. Filled with references to Cthulhu Mythos concepts and many other elements, it make for very rich reading.
"Trance Junkie" by Bruno Lombardi -+- Our hero is a shamanistic detective--half-Russian, half-Cree. An old girlfriend calls him in when a junkie dies in her boarding house and it's not drugs. He finds out that she had been killed by a Witiko, an evil man-killing spirit like a Wendigo. Why? I takes some consulting with spirits like Coyote and Raven, an help from Owl, his spirit guide but he gets justice for the girl. Good use of First People's lore and a good story to boot.
"Bad Faith" by Will Blinn -+- Max has made himself a good life, thanks to Molly. She brought him out of the hell his life had become after a horrific automobile accident in which a man died. Now, though, he finds himself haunted by a spirit at 3 AM every night. What is it? The answer makes for another good story and a positive one at that.
"Dwelling of the Wolf" by Franklyn Searight -+- Lois Templer has a recurring dream that involves walking in the woods. That eventually develops into finding a cabin and looking inside and seeing a man who seems to be hunter, killing a wolf that walks on two legs. The wolf reverts to a man and the man changes into a wolf. At the local church, Lois meets the man who had been the wolf slayer, an accountant named Clark Wily. Later she hits a wolf on her motorcycle and kills it. When she decide to skin it to take its pelt, she makes a curious discovery. Lois is an unusual character, so comfortable with the skinning of the wolf and the conclusion of the story. Quite an enjoyable tale.
"The Ruby Palace" by Jessica Amanda Salmonson -+- In the Wind of Sorrows Inn in Aispont, swordsman Esben Danesworth spots a handsome young aristocrat, Gerard Rebeautou, and sits down at his table. A long mutual flirtation takes place and they eventually adjourn to Esben's room at the inn. That morning, Gerard explains an encounter that Esben had with a beautiful white-skinned woman on the river where she had dropped her fan. He says it's a summons from Tristianna Kramerlof a princess with the House of Ai. She wants him to make love to her. She also always takes some blood. Gerard insists that he won't let Esben go alone and she'd like to have both of them. Esban is reluctant but subsequent events force him to go. This is all a build-up to a surprising and spectacular conclusion that makes the long-build-up worth it. A great story from one of the old pros.
"The Screams at the Keyhole" by Garrett Cook -+- A story drawing on Lovecraft's Cthulhoid and Dunsanian stories as Elena Saavedra and her partner, Ril, search for the witch that betrayed her. On the way, they wind up doing battle with no less than Nyarlothotep. Exciting tale!
"Diary of an Illness" by C.M. Muller -+- Brent is curiously ill. So is his wife, Samantha. So is the whole city. What does this have to do with the new church across the street? Chilling.
"Teatime With Mrs. Monster" by James Aquilone -+- Kylie is afraid of her Daddy. She has had imaginary tea parties with someone she calls Mrs. Monster, but when another girl named Amy comes over her house a Bad Thing happens and Daddy is mad. A nasty little piece of Flash Fiction.
"Train to Nowhere" by Adrian Cole -+- This is subtitled "From the Files of Nick Nightmare" and is part of a continuing series by Cole. When Nick Stone buys a copy of an old pulp called The High-Heeled Hangman, he finds a note inside. It's an invitation to a costume party in celebration of the story, signed in the name of the eponymous villainess. Intrigued, he accepts. He is immediately suspicious and those suspicions are justified. This results in an old-fashioned thriller that's a lot of fun.
Doug Draa has produced a new Weirdbook worthy of the great magazine that Paul Ganley started back in the 70s. It is worthy of our support.