A rare new story by MARK SAMUELS….
DEATH IN ALL ITS RIPENESS
“Everyone knew he was an ornery cuss, especially when in his cups.”
Ezekiel Nantwich, that is… one of the three characters to create a deliberately clumsy triangulation of points of view, his, HP Lovecraft’s and a Sheriff’s at the end who seems to gratuitously burn the whole story down following a late backstory for us about Ezekiel and his Dad. A story, at outset, about Ezekiel’s posting his manuscript to HPL’s Aunt’s place where HPL is labouring at ungratifying revision work. He should have revised this story, which is brilliantly its ironic point.. The story, meanwhile, is well-written in the sense of its antique construction of style conveying obnoxious horrors and conveying also the battle between Superstition/ Occultism and/or Anti-Natalism (here, by a scorched earth policy) and/or talking animals and/or voodoo with stick figures VERSUS horror as horror as good old traditional weird fiction for its own sake without intrinsic belief in the occult, like the occultist’s believing the Necronomicon is a real book that actually works!
Indeed the battle of ANIMALTRUTH versus a purely fictional AZATHOTH.
[It was interesting and serendipitous that only yesterday I finished my review of Weighell’s posthumous new novel ‘King Satyr’ (HERE) wherein I speak of a similar triangulation: ‘…this novel starts wrestling itself into a subtle literary novel instead of a genre horror one, nor a darkly or inspirationally ceremonial ritual / tract’ — and, so, I have already battled with this battle, primed yesterday for encountering this new Samuels today, as you can see from the Weighell review, also saying in the Weighell review: ‘By putting evil things in fiction you neutralise them?’ and ’…I envision some Holy GHOST with Holy GOATS within? “There are many paths to god.” Or to God.’]
My previous many reviews of Mark Samuels: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/mark-samuels/
By putting evil things in fiction you neutralise them – unless fiction has a fearless faith in itself…
The full context of this review: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2022/02/26/best-new-horror-31/