Your Daily NEL: New English Library

Cheap and Nasty Seventies Horror Pulp

August Derleth – The Unquiet Grave

Posted by demonik on September 14, 2007

August Derleth (ed.) – The Unquiet Grave: 15 More Uncanny Tales Of Terror (Four Square, 1964)

He was willing to go to Hell for the kiss of the pale and beautiful vampire who enslaved him – but he held the sword ready to destroy her at the height of his ecstasy.

They came from another world, those nightmare creatures. They gave out sounds that were low and throbbing, and the sight of them drove men mad. They were outside the tent now.

A huge, white, hairy creature dropped onto his neck and clung there. The maniac fell to his knees, clutching at the horror which had him in its deathly grip. Older than time, this glittering incarnation of evil waited like a sentinel to claim its victim from the tomb …

Henry S. Whitehead – The Shadows
Carl Jacobi – Carnaby’s Fish
Donald Wandrei – The Painted Mirror
Clark Ashton Smith – The Double Shadow
Robert Bloch – One Way To Mars
Arthur Machen – Out Of The Picture
Everil Worrell – The Canal
C. M. Eddy jnr. – Deaf, Dumb And Blind
Robert S. Carr – Spider-Bite
John Metcalfe – Brenner’s Boy
Anthony Boucher – Mr. Lupescu
Mary E. Counselman – Seventh Sister
John Martin Leahy – In Amundsen’s Tent
Alan Nelson – Man In A Hurry
Howard Wandrei – The Last Pin

The Unquiet Grave and The Sleeping And The Dead (Four Square, 1964) were originally published as the one volume, thirty story The Sleeping And The Dead (Pellegrini & Cudahay, New York, 1947).

Inevitably, Peter Haining was the driving force behind these welcome re-issues. Writing in Horror: Best 100 Books (Xanadu, 1988) he selects the original Sleeping And The Deadas his favourite book and comments: “… before I finally became a full-time writer and anthologist, I had the great satisfaction of arranging the first publication in Great Britain of ‘The Sleeping And The Dead’ in a paperback edition…”

John Martin Leahy – In Amundsen’s Tent: (Weird Tales, Jan. 1928). North Pole, 1912. The three man expedition led by Sutherland comes off even worse than Captain Scott’s. Not only have the rival parties reached the Pole before them, but they’ve got some very hostile company – beings from another world who drive men insane on sight of them. Sutherland and Travers go missing in the night, leaving Drumgold to record their final moments in his journal. It is later found by yet another expedition – in the same tent as Drumgold’s head which has been staked out on a pole!

Howard Wandrei – The Last Pin: (Black Mask, 1940). Local toughs Ernie and Emil Strobel are forever in trouble until the elder Emil is condemned to hard labour for killing a man in a row over a dime-a-dance girl. Emil swears to get even with Judge and Jury, and several of them meet their deaths in a remarkably short space of time. Meanwhile Ernie has begun acting weirder than usual, piercing himself with safety-pins until there’s a neat line of them down his leg. One for each dead Juror, in fact …

Robert S. Carr – Spider-Bite: (Weird Tales, June 1926). In the tomb of Ner-Taul lies Za the scribe, guardian of the treasure of Ahma-Ka. Prof. Ashbrooke and young assistant Phil find the mummified Za in a vault beneath a vault and discover a means to revive him using the juice of the Mona bush and the venom of the huge white tomb-spiders which were incarcerated with him. The natives don’t like these albino arachnids at all, and Ashbrooke and Phil are none too keen by the end of the story.

Anthony Boucher – Mr. Lupescu: (Weird Tales, Sept 1945). Little Bobby’s ‘imaginary friend’ Mr. Lupescu turns out to be real enough: the man with the big red nose, red gloves and red eyes is actually Uncle Alan with a monster makeover. Alan’s decided to kill Bobby’s dad Robert because he wants to get back with his former lover Marjorie, who only married Robert for his money. Unfortunately for Alan, the terrifying Gorgo proves to be no figment either …

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