Your Daily NEL: New English Library

Cheap and Nasty Seventies Horror Pulp

Peter Haining – Beyond The Curtain Of The Dark

Posted by demonik on May 12, 2009

Peter Haining – Beyond The Curtain Of The Dark (Four Square, October, 1966: Nel, 1972)


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Bruce Pennington

Foreword – Judith Merril
Introduction – Peter Haining

Robert Bloch – Lizzie Borden Took An Axe
Patricia Highsmith – The Snail Watcher
Ambrose Bierce – Chickamauga
Harry Harrison – At Last, The True Story Of Frankenstein
Guy De Maupassant – The Horla
Ray Bradbury – Fever Dream
Theodore Sturgeon – The Other Celia
Edgar Allan Poe – The Oval Portrait
W. C. Morrow – The Monster Maker
Frederic Brown – Come And Go Mad
H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth – The Survivor
H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth – The Ancestor
Mary Shelley – The Mortal Immortal
Nathaniel Hawthorne – Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment
Henry Kuttner – By These Presents
Henry Slesar – Whosits Disease
Edgar Allan Poe – King Pest
Harold Lawlor – Mayaya’s Little Green Men
F. Marion Crawford – For The Blood Is The Life
Edogawa Rampo – The Human Chair
J. S. Le Fanu – The Fortunes Of Sir Robert Ardagh
Robert Bloch – Return To The Sabbath
Clive Pemberton – The Will Of Luke Carlowe
Isaac Asimov – Eyes Do More Than See

I think the Haining legend really starts picking up momentum with this collection. Other early ones like the same years Where Nightmares Are and The Hell Of Mirrors relied too much upon those classics we all have a billion times over, but this looks like the work of a man who loves, and is widely read in the genre. This is where I first read Bierce’s decidedly non-escapist Chickamauga, a detached account of a war crime and one of the most horrible stories ever written. Maupassant’s The Horla is a coming race story of, literally, insane genius and Edogawa Rampo (say it fast) is kinky-cute in the extreme. Of the Frankenstein variations, W. C. Morrow’s ghastly The Monster Maker just shades it from Harrison’s short ‘n nasty effort.

Four Square edition, cover by Josh Kirby

Four Square edition, cover by Josh Kirby

Thanks to Nightreader for scanning the Four Square cover.

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